Herbal Furikake Seasoning (DANDELION)

What is furikake– a Japanese condiment made with tiny bits of dried ingredients like wasabi, nori ,egg, bonito/fish flakes, sesame seeds, and shiso leaves. . It is typically served on bland things like rice, noodles, vegetables, or fish. I like it served on popcorn or onigiri (a Japanese style rice “sandwich”) It is not the same as gomasio which is ground unhulled sesame seeds and sea salt. Urban legend says that furikake was invented to address calcium and protein deficiencies in the early 1900’s and during WW II.

Herbal Furikake Recipe

1/4 cup of dried crumbled nettle leaves broken up into fine pieces

1/4 cub of dried crumbled dandelion leaves broken up into fine pieces

1/8 cup of finely chopped then dried mugwort leaves (otherwise you get moxa/incense)

2 sheets of nori seaweed broken up and run through a spice grinder (don’t let it become a fine powder).

1 TBSP of kelp powder

1/4-1/2 tsp of sea salt

1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds (1/4 cup ground in a spice grinder)

Shiso leaves would be traditional in the recipe but I have not been able to get it planted in my garden for years. I also like the idea of using dried burdock or feverfew leaves. Maybe I will add those to my next batch.

Mix all of your ingredients together in a large bowl. It should be mostly the same size and consistency. You should be able to use it through a coarse spice shaker and sprinkle it on food easily.

For my formulation I tried to choose herbs that are good for digestion, support the liver, have a decent mineral content and would still have the aesthetic/taste of a traditional furikake seasoning. Mugwort while medicinal in our culture, is used in a lot of Japanese dishes.

Serve your onigiri with wasabi mayo and ponzu sauce.

Latin Name: Taraxacum officinaleFamily: AsterSubfamily: Cichoriodeae/Chickory

Taraxacum has yellow ray flowers that overlap all the way to the center. There is no round disk in the center like other plants in the aster family. The “petals” are straight and do not taper. It has bracts/modified leaves where the stem joins the flower instead of sepals. It has a hollow, round stem full of a white, latex like, sticky sap.There are related plants that look like dandelion (sap, yellow flowers etc.) BUT Dandelion has a reddish green , non branching stem that is 2-6 inches long (sometimes 18). The leaves do not grow off the stem, instead they grow around the base in a ring. There is one flower per stem .The leaves are very serrated like teeth , they get broader towards the top before ending in a point. Nothing about a dandelion is prickly or hairy. Single seeds look like a tiny parachute but together form a white fluffy ball.Habitat-lawns, parks, fields, waste land. Dandelion likes poor soil. Blooms and makes seeds all year round. One of the first flowering plants to appear in spring.Growing:will grown anywhere. Self seeds. No need to cultivate, it is an invasive but useful weed.Edible parts:Root, leaves, flower heads.Harvesting:Dandelion roots and leaves are most bitter in the spring, this is also when they have most medicinal qualities. Plants growing in the shade may be less bitter. Pick flowers mid morning when they are dry and have reached their biggest size. Wash well, the root may need to be scrubbed with a brush. When picking be aware of contamination from pets and pesticides/herbicides. Watch for bees, it is their favorite source of food right in the early spring.

Historically Dandelion has been used as a diuretic (water retention) and laxative (constipation). As a tonic it cleanses the blood/tissues/organs of wastes/toxins and clears heat. Dandelion is useful for skin disorders (acne, cysts, fibroids, poison ivy, rashes, eczema, abscesses etc.), hay fever, candida, allergies, varicose veins, gout, rheumatism, and weight loss. It cools heat (fever) , stimulates the immune system, and removes infection ( sinusitis, bronchitis, mastitis, hepatitis, herpes, and mono just to name a few) Internally Dandelion is best known for its action (astringent, tonic, stimulant) ) on the digestive system (gas, indigestion, appetite loss, heartburn, ulcers) the bladder ( urinary tract infection) liver (jaundice, cirrhosis) and gallbladder (gallstones) pancreas, spleen, and kidneys (kidney stones). Internally the flowers can be used for pain/anti-inflammatory (arthritis, cramps, headaches, and backache). Externally the flowers can be used for wounds and fungal infections. The sap from the stem is thought to remove warts.

Culinary uses- coffee substitute, wine, beer, syrup, jelly, baked goods, stir fry, juiced, pickles, and salad green just to name a few. Herbal products products-tea/infusion, tincture, oil/salve. The fresh leaves can be added to salads and soups or the dried to condiments to add a mineral source to the diet.

Emotional/Spiritual Use-for cleansing, rejuvenation, reflection, stress/tension, fear, or hesitation. Promotes trust, openness, balance, ease and relaxation in those who overdue it or have perfectionist tendencies.

Parts Used: leaves, flowers, root

Energetics: bitter, sweet, cold, moist

Element: Air

Contraindications: safe during pregnancy and nursing in small amounts. Because it is in the aster family, it may cause allergic reaction in people sensitive to those kinds of plants. The sap may cause contact dermatitis.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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