Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

furikake_sardinepn.jpg

I haven’t added a new furikake recipe in a long time. So, it’s about time I did. As I wrote in the first homemade furikake recipe article, the homemade kind has a lot of advantages over the storebought kind.

One of the advantages is cost, and this furikake uses a cheap yet healthy ingredient that’s available to most people, wherever they may live: Canned sardines! A can of about 4 ounces of sardines (120g) or so costs a couple of dollars or euros or whatever at most. And sardines are packed with good nutrients: Omega-3s, protein, calcium, etc.

I’ve attempted to stay away from Japanese ingredients with this one, since I occasonally get complaints from readers that they can’t get a hold of those ingredients. If you can’t get Worcestershire sauce for some reason, use steak sauce or a similar rich, brown sauce. If pine nuts (though this only uses 2 tablespoons) are beyond your means, use sesame seeds or chopped nuts of another kind.

This furikake is good on pasta as well as rice.

Recipe: Sardine and pine nut furikake

This makes about 8 tablespoons. Each tablespoon is about 40-50 calories, depending on how well you get rid of the oil the sardines are packed in.

  • 2 cans (each can containing about 4 ounces / 120 g of sardines; a little more or less doesn’t make a big difference) sardines packed in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of dry sherry or whisky or sake (optional, but the alcohol does take away a lot of the ‘fishy’ smell that some people don’t like)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of dried red chili pepper flakes (leave out if you don’t want it spicy)

Drain the sardines completely. Pat the oil off the fish with paper towels. If you leave too much oil on the fish, they end up tasting as they’ve been deep fried, which isn’t exactly unpleasant but not really ideal.

Heat up a dry non-stick frying pan. Dump in the fish, and break them up with a spatula. As they cook and dry out, keep breaking them up until they form fine flakes. Add the chopped garlic about halfway through and keep stirring. Your objective is to dry out and crisp up the fish without burning it.

When the fish is fairly dry and fine, add the sherry or whisky or sake. Stir until the liquid has evaporated - this only takes a few seconds. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir until this has also been absorbed and evaporated.

Add the pine nuts, and stir around until they are toasty brown. Add the black pepper and chili pepper.

Remove from the frying pan into a bowl (or the nuts will keep cooking and may get burned). Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week.

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Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

I tell you, reading that as "Fruitcake no 10: Sardines and Pine nuts" really gave me quite the cognitive dissonance first thing in the morning. ;)

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Hmm... that sounds nice, but I can't have pine nuts. (Gives me nasty heartburn. Yow!) What do you think a good sub would be? Cashews, maybe? Or crushed walnuts?

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Dina: Any chopped up nuts would be ok. Cashews might be most like the pine nuts. (Interesting that they give you heart burn but not other nuts...) Or, sesame seeds would do nicely too.

Jon: Sardine fruitcake...mmm :D :D

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Pine nuts hate me! Go figure!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Pine nuts are from certain pines that produce large enough seeds to harvest easily, except longleaf which are poisonous. Cashews are part of a tropical fruit. Peanuts aren't even nuts, they are legumes. And walnuts, hickory nuts, beech nuts, acorns, chestnuts, hazel nuts, maple "nuts"(not actually classified as a nut, but you can eat them), mesquite "beans" (not a legume, are nut-like), cola nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and soya nuts(roasted soy beans, used in place of real nuts when someone has an allergy). With all that variety, I'm sure you can find one that you can eat that goes well with this recipe. Or try the smaller, milder nuts of the White Pine, they taste like mangoes a little.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Thanx so much. I'm definitely going to try this one. We don't use Worcestershire sauce that much here in France. What would be the japanese equivalent? I'm sure I could find it in at Kioko's ;)

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

You could always try Tonkatsu Sauce (or just "Sauce"). Bulldog makes a good one. It's not that close to Worcestershire sauce in taste (it's like an A1 or HP steak sauce), but it has the same effect of bringing out a meaty/umame flavor.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

This recipe looks great. I've been looking for a good recipe using sardines. I'll try this tomorrow.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Sardine furikake ! *__*
(I might just begin to worship you, you know)

Oh, and I wonder how this recipe would taste with anchois (anchovies) instead of sardines... I might try that, too. ^^

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

I love sardines and can't WAIT to try this. I often make a sardine salad, similarly put together as a tuna salad, and this adds a new way to use the little fishies. Thanks!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Brilliant! I so wanted to be able to make a 'wet furikake' from canned sardines but hadn't really enjoyed my own attempts.
I thought you might like to know about my own favourite which came from an egullet member, it's made with canned mackerel.
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=16722&pid=561142&mode=thre...

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

I guess that would be more of a soboro than furikake, since it's wet? (though I know, the distinction is rather vague and depends on the person)

Looks great!

First time commenting, been reading for about a month now (and the archives). So much tasty knowledge abounds.

Anyway, this looks so good I will try this tonight. What would this recipe look like if you did use Japanese ingredients? Just wondering...

Re: Looks great!

subdude wrote:

What would this recipe look like if you did use Japanese ingredients? Just wondering...

Hi subdue! Great to see you 'delurk' here.
The comment about 'Japanese ingredients' is one I find striking as everything that has been mentioned is easily available and widely used in Japan, particularly the substitutions Maki has suggested.
Garlic is part of the cuisine now, as are chili flakes, brown sauce most definitely so (perhaps more so than Worcestershire sauce) and Japan is now acknowledged as one of the world's best Whisky producers. I've seen pine nuts in Japan, but sesame seeds would be cheaper and more widely available. However, pine nuts feature so heavily in Korean cuisine I can't imagine that they don't grow in Japan too.
So the question about 'Japanese ingredients' is a curious one for me as none of the ingredients strike me as being particularly 'foreign' to a Japanese person in the way Worcestershire sauce might be to a Spaniard or French person.

Re: Looks great!

That's an interesting perspective. I was just referring to our gracious host's article (think she says it is more western in there somewhere). I had no idea pine nuts grew in Asia. In fact I didn't know garlic and chili flakes weren't always a part of the cooking. I live in semi-rural Missouri, USA so it is very interesting to hear about groceries in other countries. Call me crazy :)

Re: Looks great!

subdude wrote:

Call me crazy :)

Not at all! I love seeing questions like this as it makes me think more deeply about things.
The pine nut enquiry I found very interesting as the pine tree the Koreans and Chinese get their nuts from is indigenous also to Japan, but I've only seen pine nuts in the 'Italian' section of some of the upmarket Tokyo stores. So, from my perspective, the most 'Japanese' ingredient (because it grows there) may be the least Japanese ingredient - something that has really surprised me, particularly as the Japanese have such a great tradition of foraging for mountain foods.
This anomaly really interested me and I looked for any sign of pine nuts (matsunomi? 松の実) being used in Japanese cuisine, in case it was a regional speciality ingredient somewhere, and found mentions of this furikake:
http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/doragonkiss14032006/imgs/6/4/64890298.JPG
called 錦松梅 Kinshobai
Although it's not a very common furikake it is sold in Japan. This website says a little about how it's made
http://koreanfood.livedoor.biz/archives/50301263.html
Unfortunately, I have to run it through a translation tool, so I'm not clear if Kinshobai is Japanese or if it has a Korean history. What it does mention is that this pine nut furikake is sold in department stores in pottery containers as a posh gift item.
Another, clearer, recipe here: http://hokorin.exblog.jp/10984584/
I'll definitely hunt it out on my next visit, looks delicious!

I think it's me that deserves the crazy title!
(My apologies for the detour, but it really has been a fascinating education for me - only other Japanese food I could find that seems to have them sometimes is a dessert called Miso Matsuzake 味噌松風, another thing I want to try now!
http://yoripin.cocolog-nifty.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorize...)

Re: Looks great!

A Japanese version eh... let me make it and figure out the ingredients and post it soonish :)

Re: Looks great!

Tried it. Was really tasty!

Yum!

I love sardines, and often make my own furikake at home. I can't wait to try this out.

And to Dina: I often use unsalted sunflower seeds to replace pine nuts in other recipes because they are similar in size and shape, and they toast up wonderfully.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Avenna
Hi Maki

How hot should the frying pan be? Im sorry but I dont want to get anything wrong as pine nuts are expensive!! Also, would toasted slivered almonds work? Thanks a bunch!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

I did this on the highest setting, but I made sure to stir it around a lot. Also, the pine nuts are added just at the last minute and stirred/toasted around rapidly just until they are taking on some color. Slivered almonds would be interesting! Or, even whole toasted ones for a very different texture. Also I like Kari's idea of toasted sunflower seeds!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

I made this furikake in a small toaster oven (oven method), not in a frying pan. It worked really well, the sardines dried out nicely and I think it minimises the possibility of burning things. More time consuming though, it took around half an hour for the sardines to dry out. Only thing is mine seems a bit drier than yours in the picture. Also it is not as red, is it the chilli flakes? I substituted with Ichimi Togarashi as that is all I had.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

wonderful website! coming out of Lurkland just to ask: I have loads of tinned sardines in tomato sauce. could i sub them in this recipe if I wash and drain and dry them with kitchen paper? I find sardines in oil a little ick but love the taste otherwise :) Thanks for the great recipes!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Thank you so much for this recipe, i love japanese food and to be able to make anything japanese makes me happy. There are no good pine nuts in India so i used almonds instead, and all other ingredients are easily available here. Besides, even though canned sardines are not my favorite food i enjoyed this furikake so much i posted it today in my blog. Love your site and i am going to try more of your recipes! Thanks again and have a great day!

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

stumbled across this site the other day and had to try this recipe. tastes amazing! thank you ;)

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Hmmmm... I wonder how this would work with anchovies instead.

Re: Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

Hello from a long-time reader! I don't usually comment on blogs, but I have made lots of your recipes and enjoyed reading many more of them. This in particular was really unusual but delicious! I loved sardines as a child but found that the canned sardines available where I currently live (Cyprus) to be unbearably fishy tasting. This furikake did the trick, thank you so much!

I am so glad to read that you are feeling better, and hope that you continue to feel better and better! :)

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