Cooking with baby: accidental furikake

Three magical ingredients dance together in perfect time. A little heat, a dash of richness and an incredible crunch; flavors united under a banner of outstanding flavour. Hubby asked EIGHT times for a repeat of my creation during and after dinner.

The ridiculous fact is my “dish” was a failure. What was supposed to be a benign topping for cooked broccoli turned out to be shockingly delicious rice sprinkles. To make your own accidental furikake, all you need is a dollop of negligence, a smattering of low heat and continuous distraction.

While this looks lovely, it is not my masterpiece. Hitoshi kept asking me to take pictures of my first accidental furikake but and I didn't. This photo proudly presents failed repeat #2.

While this looks lovely, it is not my masterpiece. Hitoshi kept asking me to take pictures of my first accidental furikake but I didn’t. This photo proudly presents failed repeat #2.


  • 1 intermittently crying baby who needs you now
  • ½ an onion from the fridge
  • about 1 inch of ginger root from the fridge
  • 1-4 or more garlic cloves
  • about 2 tbsp olive oil
This splendid work is also not my brilliance. It is failed repeat #1 in all its burnt brilliance.

This splendid work is also not my brilliance. It is failed repeat #1 in all its burnt brilliance.


Baby should be playing and on the verge of tears, although there are no signs to indicate this. Everyone is hungry but not grumpy.

  1. Heat a heavy, non-stick frying pan on low, perhaps 3. Make sure you aren’t ready to start cooking. Have at least three other dishes on the go.
  2. Pour oil in the pan. Once it mostly covers the bottom, baby should start fussing.
  3. Chop the onion into tiny bits, enjoying the process for once and thankfully not crying. Ponder this miracle.
  4. Add the onion to the frying pan while rescuing a dish that is about to burn, splatter or overcook.
  5. Ignore the onion for, say, ten minutes. The best way to do this is for baby to collapse splayed on the floor at your feet in tears. Pick up baby, smother in kisses and cuddles and carry on hip while saving another pot from doom. Persist when attempts fail to hand over baby to partner.
  6. Return to the onion and consider stirring, although don’t worry if you forget.
wasabi furikake on brown rice

Let’s take a break to look at my favorite furikake from Japan! This version is wasabi flavored.

  1. Peel and chop the ginger into mini sticks since you used up your chopping patience on the onion.
  2. Baby should now crawl into the kitchen sobbing. Throw ginger into pan with onion that is now dark golden. Stirring is probably a good idea but delay until after kisses, cuddles and placing baby on hip.
  3. Point out frying pan to baby-chan and explain that you’d like to add garlic. Baby has no interest.
  4. Turn off heat as baby needs you 100%. Cuddle baby while attempting to cook with one hand. Remind yourself that others with only one limb successfully cook dinner. Remain stubborn and don’t ask for help from partner.
  5. Baby is now calm and with partner. Chop garlic but be quick. This is an opportunity! Throw garlic into pan, turn on the heat and walk away for at least five minutes.
  6. Assume topping is done. Throw contents into a bowl in time for another baby meltdown. Sooth baby for at least ten minutes.
burnt onion

The charred remains of failed repeat #1 when I paid attention to my cooking.

Trying again… and again

I have tried to replicate this dish twice and failed miserably!

Repeat #1 ended with charred onion and flavour that was unbalanced and close to inedible.

Olive oil slopped around on the bottom of the serving dish in repeat #2. The ingredients looked beautiful but were semisoft.

chopped ginger, garlic and onion

Look at all that lovely chopping! Alas, it tasted terrible.

Apparently careful chopping and attentive care while cooking is bad. I think the trick is to caramelize the onion and ginger while only lightly cooking the garlic. The topping then needs to rest and dry out. This has become my new project and if I can figure out how to make it right, I’ll share how.

Do you have hints to help me make this dish? Share your cooking experiments, whether disaster or surprise success!

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