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Japanese Furikake French Fries Recipe

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In response to the latest buzz about the lawsuit against Deceptively Delicious author, Jessica Seinfeld, I’m launching my own Steamy campaign against the entire concept of hiding vegetables in your kids food. But all in good humor.

Seinfeld’s recipes included stuff like, Carrot and Spinach Brownies, Cauliflower Banana Bread, Broccoli Gingerbread.

Like, totally. Gag me with an asparagus spear.

Do you even know how many Flaxseed Chicken Nuggets my kids can slingshot across the room in 12.3 seconds with one hand tied behind their backs? The long term effect of sneaking foods into your kids meals is the under appreciation of the taste of real vegetables. Plus, do you want kids to grow up with confusion over what mashed potatoes really taste like? When their school friends come over for supper, they’ll wonder why the hot dogs have a green tinge and smell like the wrong end of a hippo. That, my friends, leads to worse things than not eating greens, like social anxiety, adult bedwetting and a plethora of disorders that require expensive medication.

If we’re going to dupe our kids into eating healthily, let’s do it right. There are a variety of tactics that I employ in the Steamy Kitchen household, borrowed mainly from my husband’s old West Point Military Academy handbook and his 7 years as a Anthony Robbins trainer.

Bribery: “If you eat your broccoli, I’ll give you an extra 50 cents for college.”

Blatent Honesty: “See this picture of Uncle Jimmy? We call him lard-ass. He didn’t eat kale.”

Hostile Negotiations: “If you don’t clean your plate, I’ll whip Buzz Lightyear with a fishing pole and shock him with cattle prod.”

Neuro-Linguistic Programming: “It’s funny how much the more you try to resist the natural urge to eat brussels sprouts , the more you keep wanting it, getting more and more excited about what you are tasting in your mouth at this very moment in time.”

Exploiting Sibling Competitiveness: “If you eat your carrots, I’ll love you way more than your brother.”

Jedi-Talk: “Try? There is no try. Just eat your goddamn vegetables.”

Good Cop/Bad Cop: “Dude. If I were you, I’d just stuff those carrots in your  mouth. Mom’s coming and she’s on her 6th straight day of PMS. Don’t want to be on the receiving end of that monster.”

Sponteneous Egomania: “SPINACH?! You can’t handle the spinach! Son, I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Cheetos and curse the alfalfa sprouts. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up that spinach and eat it like a man. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

Injection of Guilt: “You have NO IDEA how many miles your father had to walk up the steep mountain, in Florida snow, carrying 50 pounds of oranges, wearing flipflops to get that tofu on your dinner plate.” or “Do you know how many pairs of Gap jeans your little cousin in China had to sew to so we could buy this bok-choy?” (ok, that was baaaad….spank me)

Dr. Phil: “Are you eating what you’re eating today because you want to eat it, or is it because it’s what you think you were eating yesterday when you were trying to finish eating? You moron, you don’t need to eat a horse’s genitals to spell your name.”

Starving Children in Africa Guilt: “If you don’t eat, I’m shipping YOUR ASS off to starve in Africa.” (thanks Mike)

The Rath of God, Buddha and Santa: “THEY ARE ALL WATCHING YOU RIGHT NOW.”

And my favorite technique of all, Funny Food Names – laughing so hard you don’t notice you’re eating seaweed.

Furikake French Fries

Furikake French Fries (pronounced Furrrrr-ee-kokkkkkkyyyyy)

if you say that 10 times fast. you might fart.

Yes, it’s a real word. Furikake is a Japanese condiment that includes dried bonito flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds and other seasonings. Find it at most Asian markets. While normally used to sprinkle on steamed rice, I sprinkled it on a fresh batch of french fries for a really cool sweet/salty hit. You can make homemade french fries with a good mandolin like I did, but I find the frozen kind easier to bake.

*DISCLAIMER: Yeah, I know this isn’t a healthy recipe. Get your kids to like seaweed FIRST with french fries, THEN switch it up on them – sprinkle Furikake on steamed broccoli, spinach, tofu…whatever!

This is another technique called Bait and Switch. This double-technique is for the experienced only. Amateurs do not try.

Furikake comes in a small can, with a pull-tab so you can shake out the furikake (heehee! I love saying that word!) There are many different flavors.

Print

Furikake French Fries

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
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*Gluten Free notes: the Furikake that I purchased included soy sauce, which has wheat. However, you can make your own seaweed salt mixture. Purchase unseasoned seaweed (brush with GF tamari, toast for a few seconds over open flame, crush) + sesame seeds + sea salt)

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen french fries
(if making own from scratch and frying instead of baking like a bad parent- see below)
2 tbl furikake seasoning
sea salt or kosher salt

Directions:

Follow the directions on the bag of your frozen french fries. Be a good parent and bake ‘em instead of frying. Bake until golden and crispy. While the french fries are still hot, season with salt and furikake seasoning.

If you choose make homemade french fries, budget 1 large russet potato per person, after cutting, soak your fries in cold water at least 30 minutes, drain and pat very dry. The soak helps remove excess starch and produces a crisper fry. Heat your oil to 325F. Fry in batches for 1-3 minutes depending on thickness of fry, drain. Increase heat to 375F and re-fry to crisp for 30 seconds-1 minute. Drain and season while hot.

It’s my new favorite word now and can be used in many different ways. The moment you feel angry, instead of cussing, just say Furikake. Guaranteed to snap you out of your foul mood.

That Mother-FURIKAKE cut me off again!
FURIKAKE You!
Yo mamma is a FURIKAKE!
What the FURIKAKE?
Yippy-Ki-Yay Mother-FURIKAKE! (thanks Dave)

Come on, guys, you can do better than I can! Share with me your kid-duping techniques! How about a way to use FURIKAKE in a sentence????

Comments 91

  1. Chris

    Great post! My kids would only eat veggies if they were deep-fried(as in tempura) or blanketed by sauce or gravy. Fresh-steamed vegt would seem naked to them!
    Love furikake myself too. Discovered something similar from Mexico recently called tajine(“ta-heen”)..mix of spices, salt and lime. Good on everything!
    Just thought this up…Britney Spears=furikake personified!

  2. joey

    I am laughing so hard I’m going to start crying soon…and I don’t know what I find funnier, the child-duping tactics or the Furikake-curses! How about some multi-lingual ones:
    Hijo de Furikake!
    Que te Furikake un pez!
    Me Furikake en tu Furikake nacion!
    Furikake mo to!
    Furikake ka!

    I’m in a good mood already :)

  3. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    I was lucky. My kid loves vegetables. I can’t get her to eat meat! She came home from kindergarten one day and announced that she was a vegetarian. She said that eating another living thing was against her ethics. Ethics!!! What does a 5 year-old know about ethics?

    Great post! You gave me a good laugh! I’m getting me some furikake too.

  4. eatdrinknbmerry

    hi SK, along with maggi sauce, furikake is a weak spot. i put it on everything! your fries recipe sounds fabulous. happy new year to you.

  5. Lakshmi

    ROFL..on those different ways to duping children. We are vegetarians and probably I have dupe my son to eat some chicken…u know the other way round. I am proud to say that my boy every veggie from Basil to Spinach and giner. garlic to bittergourd (what else can a veggetarian eat?..hahahaa…) Btw was drooling over those fries. Furikakke…(LOL) still laughing.

  6. The Cooking Ninja

    For now, my 1 year old eats more veggies than meat. It’s hard to get her to eat meat – she spit it out. *sigh* Or she will push her food around and avoid the meat area and just eat the plain pasta or rice spot she could find.

  7. Elen

    In my household I do not concentrate that what they are eating are vegetables.
    They just eat what we do, because if grownups do not eat their veggies child will not either. (good tasting food helps too)

    I love your column

  8. Stefanie

    Basically, I just try to make veggies taste good to my little guy. Every child has a different palate and I like to think that I know what flavors my son likes. For example, I like to steam baby carrots and then drizzle a bit of margarine over them and sprinkle some brown sugar on top as well. The benefit of the carrots far outweighs the not-so-healthy topping in my opinion.

  9. sheddingpounds

    Wow, I don’t have any kids and I’m really surprised at all the methods people employ to get kids to stuff their gob with veggies. I mean I knew a little but dang…lol you lady, are just too funny.

  10. Y.

    Sometimes kids don’t like vegetables no matter what parents do. My parents gave us plenty of opportunities to eat vegetables, but I hated them. I only ate broccoli or overcooked veggies. It wasn’t until high school when my taste buds changed overnight and I began eating other (normally cooked)vegetables. If I ever have kids, I am definitely trying the 3 bites technique. Seems very reasonable.

  11. Average Betty

    Steamy! Steamy! Steamy for President!

    You are so hilarious. And 100% correct that hiding veggies is not the way to go. A cookie is a cookie and a carrot is a carrot.

    When I was a kid and reluctant to eat my vegetables… I was told, “That’s fine. They’ll be in your cereal/eggs tomorrow morning and you can eat them then.”

    Saw your beautiful photo on Tastespotting ;)

    xo,
    Betty

  12. Madeline

    This dish looks fastastic! I can’t wait to try it. This is such a great post, I literally laughed out loud, your humor is truly appreciated.

  13. Dominic

    My wife is half-Japanese and introduced me to furikake (I, too, love the word!) on rice. I will definitely be surprising her with some furikake-laced fries…since the deep-fryer is already out, perhaps the perfect accompaniment to tonkatsu?

    Dominic
    the zen kitchen

  14. brilynn

    Don’t tempt me to visit Florida Jaden, I’ll be on your furikake doorstep before you know it!

  15. Kevin

    Those fries look so good! Great photos! The Furikake with dried bonito flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds sound tasty. I will have to look for some the next time I stop by the local Japanese grocery store.

  16. Elise

    I was totally addicted to that seaweed seasoning when I lived in Japan. Just sprinkle it on anything, so good! What a brilliant way to get your kids used to the flavor.

    Here’s what worked in our house growing up. Serve dessert only once a month. No sugar cereals or chips or sodas in the house. Don’t fill the kids up on empty crappy calories and they’ll be more likely to be hungry and willing to eat what’s in front of them.

  17. Edi

    At least with your tactics the kids actually know what they are eating or not eating. If you are hiding what they are eating – then what do you do if the kid doesn’t want to eat the carrot/broccoli mint brownie? Do you tell them it’s ice-cream?

    My 8 yr old loves fruit and vegetables (she could just about eat a bag of mini carrots) but my 5 yr old dislikes most fruit and veggies. But you know what – he still eats them. I still put them on his plate (though in smaller amounts than his sister) – and he has to eat them. It’s not up for debate. Might take him 1/2 hr and then he has less time to play before bed – so it’s up to him.

    When I used to eat at my grandma’s house (I was teen-aged) – she had a snappy/yappy little dog that would jump on my legs. I didn’t like Fritsy – except when it came time to eating. You never quite knew how long those chicken nuggets, piece of cake or muffin had been hanging around her kitchen. So when grandma turned her back – little Fritsy got a little treat. Other times I’d just slip the offending food item into my pocket (grandma would not take “no” for an answer when you said you didn’t want something).

  18. limer

    I was laughing so hard that I accidentaly farted FURIKAKE. hahahaha Great post!!!!

  19. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    I couldn’t find furikake at that Asian Supermarket on 12th St. you told me about. They didn’t even know what I was talking about. (I got some great roast duck, though.) I ordered from Amazon. Can’t wait to try it!

  20. Wicked Good Dinner

    Been meaning to write about this as well – I hate the idea of hiding vegetables in food. It’s like Santa Claus…eventually they find out and hate you for it! LOL!

  21. Maven

    And here I thought I was the freak because I sing the Macarena as The Furikake! I’m not alone!!!!!!!!

    FYI, bonito furikake + cottage cheese = not pleasant. What can I say, it was late and I was hungry….

  22. Junith

    Jaden,
    This is too much for me to stop laughing! I HAVE to use that word today. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I do have three kids.
    “Shut your Furikake Hole!”
    I just don’t know how you do it. People have always thought that I was funny…I just don’t think that I am Cooooool enough to hang out with you.
    Main reason I am writing is to find out which mandoline you use. I got a mandoline over the holidays and returned it. It was the OXO, I just didn’t care for it. Way too dangerous on the hands. I want the best one out there if possible. I just would like to know from people who actually own one, do you really like it, or would you rather have another one, and does it leave a huge hunk of veg or whatever you are using unsliced? The OXO did. At this point I am still cutting my matchstick carrots on my own. Thanks, Junith

  23. Gaijin

    I love your blog! I totally agree with you about this topic, I am so happy that my DD knows and appreciates the real taste of veggies like broccoli, califlower, bean sprouts, edamame, and cucumbers. Ofcourse there are veggies she doesn’t like and doesn’t want to even try but I am very satisfied at what she does like and appreciate. My favourite trick to introduce something new that I think my DD might not necessarily be naturally inclined to try and/or like is to give her something new when she is hungry, truly hungry, like right after school or something, lol. Because everybody knows food tastes much better when you are really hungry, and you can appreciate it more. Also, my DD loves furikake, so my sentence is “I furikaked the rice in her bento”. Lol. BTW, I live in Tokyo and here at McDonald’s, they often have “shaka shaka potato” which is french fries with a packet of seasoning and a paper bag included, and where you sprinkle the seasoning on the french fries in the paper bag and shake it up, essentially furikaking your fries! ;) lol.

  24. Joscie

    OH my GOODNESS that was so funny! I was posting on my blog : http://www.cutchens.com about my favorite snack lately with microwave popcorn, spray butter, furikake and iso peanuts… and was googling links for furikake and iso peanuts for the post… and saw this. OHMYGOODNESS i can’t wait to eat furikake french fries! :)
    by the way my favorite is the nori kumi furikake. i am not a huge fan of bonito flakes.

  25. OhioMom

    If you dont eat, Im shipping YOUR ASS off to starve in Africa.

    LMAO ! For my Mom it was always “China”, didn’t make me want to eat liver no matter who was starving anywhere :)

    I am going to the Asian Plaza and get some of this Furikake, because I want these french fries right now.

    This is a breakfast food right ?

  26. Paula

    Oh gosh, this is the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a very long time. Man, I’m still laughing! Thanks for brightening my day; oh, and thanks for the recipe, too!

  27. Joli

    Will try furikake on fries some time. Love the use of the word Furikake. I have a similar word – one that’s so innocent but can be used in so many creative ways. In Mexico, the word for peanut is ‘cacahuate’. Such an innocent word with so many uses (like furikake – which I’m happy to add to my ‘driving with kids’ in car vocabulary). Thanks for the laugh.

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