Btw, did you guys know that every volume of Shokugeki no Soma has at least three recipes included? Also, did you know that people have managed to follow and replicate said recipes?
In this series of posts, I’m going to talk about some of the recipes included and their in-story implications. I would also like to put the links of people who actually replicated this recipe so you can check it out. ^^
*Slight Manga spoilers below*
[su_heading size=”25″]Transforming Furikake Gohan [/su_heading]
“Furikake Gohan” is probably one of the most plot important dishes made in the manga.
It is the dish that Soma used to enter Totsuki and also the dish that set the tone for the early relationship between him and Erina. It would perhaps not be an exaggeration when I say that this is the dish where it all began.
A pretty lofty consideration considering that cooking-wise its probably equivalent to “cup noodles”.
Yes. You heard it right. Cup Noodles. The one where you buy in the store and just add water, cup noodles. Can you imagine taking the exam of the prestigious academy using cup noodles?
That’s what Soma essentially did.
There is actually a good reason why Erina and Hisako reacted that way when “Furikake Gohan” is mentioned. For many of us outside of Japan, “Furikake Gohan” sound something exotic and while Soma’s version is quite amazing; A normal Furikake Gohan’s preparation is something like this:
As the image above implies, Furikake Gohan is as simple as 1, 2, 3. As in make rice, then put furikake on top of it.
Heh. The only “hard” part of this recipe is making the rice itself, considering furikake is sold at Japanese grocery stores in different flavors. As you can imagine, this is one of the staples of those cooking- deficient Japanese college student along with cup noodles.
Soma has some pretty big balls in taking the exam using this.
That or he’s trying to troll Erina. ^^
In any case, now that you’ve enlightened on how low class Furikake Gohan is in the scale of Japanese cuisine. I think that its brilliant that it was the first recipe that Soma presented to Erina. After all, in Azami’s view of the world Furikake Gohan has no right to exist. And then here comes, Soma with no prestigious background using the most “plebeian” dish and most importantly “its delicious”.
As someone once said, “Soma wrecking up Azami’s plan from Day 1.”
That sort of thing is probably enough to shake a certain view of the world.
Knowing what we know of Erina now, it makes sense that she doesn’t want to acknowledge that Soma even exist in the early parts of the story. Acknowledging Soma’s existence would reveal a large hole in the stupid philosophy that Azami imparted (no thank you, Dad!). Which flawed or not, its still a core tenet of Erina’s mindset in the early chapters.
As you may have surmised the unique thing about this dish is its furikake. Soma’s furikake is basically the jellied meat broth or “aspic” and scrambled eggs. At the manga tells us, eggs being such a fundamental ingredient in most cuisines meant that whatever you do with it would directly tell us your skill as a chef. Probably because the egg is so ubiquitous that making an egg dish is almost a license to make whatever you want.
Symbolically, I kinda like having eggs as the main ingredient as well. After all, egg in most cultures is a symbol of new life and rebirth.
Things that are happening in this episode.
Souma entering Totsuki symbolized his new life and Erina’s encounter with Soma symbolized the start of her rebirth.
That said, its the aspic, more than the egg which is truly the most vital and secret ingredient to the “transforming furikake” gohan. Its where the transforming part of the name comes from (Fun fact: Its impossible to make the aspic in the time allotted by the anime. It takes at least 2 hours to make at the very least. But, that would be boring isn’t it?)
Which is why I liked how the aspic is presented in the anime and the manga. Before the transformation you don’t even know the aspic is there covered as it is with the eggs. But, once ithe aspic made contact with the heat of the rice, it started “transforming”, spreading its flavor into the once pure white rice.
Metaphorically, I think this is what Soma( furikake) did in Totsuki (pure white rice). This furikake like Soma may look low class and doesn’t look delicious, but once its connected heat (shokugeki) of the white rice; both have been transformed and become better for it.
I also liked the fact that the aspic almost completely dissolved melding into the rice (this would also not happen in real life unless you used a very hot rice), it goes to show how Soma will embrace the identity of a Totsuki student and not just a proprietor of Yukihara (though, I believe that identity is still there).
Finally. This is the translated recipe of the manga for those who want to try it.
If you need any help, please click on the link below.
Immanuel Bear – probably one of the best video presentation regarding on how to make Soma’s Transforming Furikake Gohan.
Whimsicalzoo – for those who don’t want a video and wants a written way on how to make Soma’s Transforming Furikake Gohan
Penguin Snacks – for those who don’t want to bother making homemade stock when making the aspic. She has an alternative recipe for those who want to use store-bought stocks.
And finally, for those who just wants to make a normal furikake Gohan. First, I would recommend you guys to click on this or a picture link of furikake bottles and buy them from Amazon for convenience. If not, just go to the nearest Asian grocery store near you.
That said, store bought Furikake has MSG. That is because Japanese has no cultural aversion to MSG and thus you’ll find it at most of their food items. If you want non-MSG version of Furikake Gohan or if you live in another country where there is no store with Furikake. Here are some do it yourself recipe for Furikake.
Otaku Food’s Nori Fumi Furitake and Katsuo Fumi Furitake – Otaku food specialized in making food from Japan. His Nori Fumi Recipe (Seaweed and Sesame Seed Recipe) and Katsuo Fumi (Bonito Flakes Recipe) is very easy to do.
If you want to have “inspired”flavors go to Just Bento. He has by my count. Furitake # 1 Raddish leaves, Bonito Flakes and Tiny Shrimp Furitake #2 Carrot Seed, and Sesame Seed Furitake #3 Nori and Egg Furitake Furitake#4 Spicy Curry peanut
And a lot lot more.