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Easy Weeknight Salmon Loaded with Umami Richness
The perfect weeknight recipes are fast, flavorful, & made with just a few ingredients – this baked furikake salmon is exactly that! It’s an especially popular weeknight dinner option in Hawaii, where most of its Japanese ingredients are kitchen staples.
The star of this dish is the furikake, an umami-rich Japanese rice seasoning made with nori seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, & salt. It’s SO good sprinkled on anything with rice (hello, Spam musubi! 😍), but its umami also makes it a natural pairing with seafood.
To make furikake salmon, you simply slather the fish in a creamy Kewpie mayo sauce seasoned with shoyu & wasabi, then cover it with a generous sprinkling of furikake. As it bakes, the salmon becomes creamy & tender with a totally crispy furikake crust – it’s absolutely delicious. From there all you need is a pile of rice & some sautéed bok choy & dinner is ready to go.
Plus! For such a flavor-forward meal, furikake salmon is amazingly easy to throw together. It’s a 5-ingredient, 25-minute dinner, so it’s an always-convenient option to pop in the oven or air fryer when you get home from the office or an evening surf at sunset. 🤙🏼🌺
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Furikake Salmon Recipe Highlights
You’re going to be completely smitten with baked furikake salmon! It’s …
AN UMAMI LOVER’S DREAM. Furikake seasoning is full of umami flavor thanks to a blend of nori seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, & salt. Heavily coating the salmon fillets creates the perfect furikake crust as the fish bakes. Umami richness in every bite!
MADE WITH 5 INGREDIENTS. This easy furikake salmon recipe sticks to Hawaii pantry staples like shoyu, creamy Kewpie mayo, & furikake. The Japanese-inspired ingredients are always on hand here at the PWWB House & they’re all really easy to find if they’re new-to-you!
FAST & FLAVORFUL. Baked furikake salmon is an easy 25-minute dinner with minimal prep & mostly hands-off cooking. Enjoy dinner in no time, served with rice & your favorite veggies. An air fryer can make prep even faster! 🙌🏼
A total weeknight dinner win, Hawaii-style! 🤙🏼🌺 ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Furikake Salmon, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
You only need 5 simple ingredients to make this furikake salmon recipe! It’s pretty unbelievable because this dish is full of serious flavor, but it only takes a few superstar ingredients, like furikake & Kewpie mayo, to make a big impact. These ingredients are pantry staples in Hawaii & here at the PWWB House, but these days they’re easy to come by no matter where you live.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
- Salmon – You can use this furikake salmon recipe to prepare four individually portioned fillets or one large piece of salmon – whatever you prefer! Either way, we love how the tender, flaky fish pairs with the texture-loaded furikake seasoning.
- Furikake – The star of the show! This Japanese rice seasoning adds tons of umami flavor & beautiful texture to the salmon as it bakes. Learn more in the Ingredient Spotlight, below!
- Kewpie mayonnaise – This Japanese-style mayonnaise is a big step up from standard American mayo! It’s made exclusively with egg yolks for a creamy, almost custardy texture & rich mouthfeel. It’s also seasoned with MSG for an irresistibly savory flavor. The extra richness of Kewpie mayo plays a big role in this simple recipe – it’s definitely worth seeking out! These days, you can order Kewpie mayo online or find it in the “international” aisle of most conventional grocery stores, located near other Asian ingredients. If you can’t find Kewpie, feel free to use regular mayonnaise.
- Shoyu – This mellow, Japanese-style soy sauce is ubiquitous in Hawaii. Mixing it in with the Kewpie mayo adds an extra level of savory flavor! Our personal favorite is Aloha Shoyu, which is brewed in Hawaii & has a delicious, balanced flavor. Feel free to swap shoyu for whatever low-sodium soy sauce is most accessible to you, or sub with tamari to easily make this recipe gluten-free.
- Wasabi paste – We love how wasabi’s pungent flavor & quickly fading heat cuts through the creaminess of the Kewpie mayo sauce. It’s a totally optional add-in that we love, but feel free to skip it if you’re not a fan.
What is Furikake?
Furikake is a Japanese rice seasoning made of nori seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, & sugar. It’s the perfect blend of distinct umami flavor. Furikake has always been a pantry staple at my house & it’s one of my favorite things in the world – it’s a staple for Spam musubi & fantastic sprinkled on an ahi tuna poke bowls because its naturally oceanic flavor is a great pairing with fish. You can find many versions of furikake made with other ingredients like dried fish (bonito flakes), eggs, & other herbs for even more flavor.
Furikake origins. ⇢ Furikake was developed in Japan during the Taisho era (1912-1926) to give the local diet a nutritional boost. A Japanese pharmacist first made furikake with dried, ground-up fish bones combined with nori & sesame seeds. He then encouraged people to sprinkle it over rice, a staple of the Japanese diet, for some extra nutrients. Furikake & rice quickly became best friends. In fact, furikake translates to “to sprinkle over” in Japanese! 🤗
What does furikake taste like? ⇢ Furikake has a beautiful salty, nutty, & oceanic flavor. It’s a total umami bomb, full of the irresistible savoriness that’s often considered the “fifth taste.” Furikake is so good, I can eat it with a spoon. Good thing we’re using plenty of it in this furikake salmon recipe!
How to pronounce furikake? ⇢ Fur-uh-kaa-kay! Resist the temptation to pronounce the “e” at the end (e.g. “fur-eh-ka-kee“) & you’ll sound just like a local. 🤙🏼
Where to buy furikake? ⇢ This Japanese pantry staple has become incredibly popular in recent years! It’s often in the “international” aisle in conventional grocery stores, near other Asian ingredients, & you can also buy it online.
How to Make Baked Furikake Salmon
Everything about this furikake salmon recipe is easy, easy, easy! There’s zero prep aside from mixing up some mayo, then the oven does all the work. The whole process takes 25 minutes tops! It’s the low-effort kind of dinner every weeknight deserves.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepare the mayonnaise. While Kewpie mayonnaise is delicious all on its own, mixing in some shoyu & wasabi paste elevates the flavors even more. Why mayo? ⇢ Creamy Kewpie mayo makes the baked furikake salmon super juicy, infusing each salmon fillet with even more flavor!
Season the salmon. Use paper towel to pat the salmon as dry as possible, then place them on a baking sheet & slather with the prepared mayo, coating the entire surface of each salmon filets. Finish with a generous amount of furikake. Why? ⇢ Thoroughly covering the entire mayo mixture with furikake creates a beautiful crust on the salmon furikake as it bakes – seriously, don’t hold back here!
Bake. Cook the furikake salmon in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes – just enough time to wash a few dishes & grab your plate! Tip! ⇢ You’ll know the salmon furikake is ready once the fish easily flakes when you nudge it with a fork.
Alternate Cooking Method
Air Fryer Furikake Salmon
This furikake salmon recipe is already quick & easy but using an air fryer takes the cooking time down by about 5 minutes. Feel free to give it a try if you’re in a time crunch or just extra hungry! Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F & season the salmon with the mayo & furikake, then let it cook for about 10 minutes. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
For such a fast, 5-ingredient dinner, baked salmon furikake is shockingly delicious. The oven perfectly cooks the salmon, which gets extra tender & creamy thanks to the Kewpie mayonnaise. The heat also turns the furikake into a beautifully crispy crust that pairs beautifully with flaky salmon. It’s full of texture & flavor, & it couldn’t be easier to make!
We love to enjoy salmon furikake with a side of fluffy white or brown rice. For a lower carb dinner, try cauliflower rice or a sautéed vegetable like bok choy, cabbage, or broccoli. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some diced avocado, or cucumber & carrot namasu (Japanese-style pickled veggies) are also beautiful add-ons.
The salmon furikake is loaded with intense flavor, so keeping the sides simple is ideal. You’ll already have everything you need in one bite!
I can’t wait for you to try this Furikake Salmon recipe! It’s quick, hands-off & seriously so flavorful – what’s not to love about that? It will definitely earn a spot in your weeknight dinner rotation, whether you’re on the islands or on the mainland!
If you give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
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Hawaiian Recipes & Local Favorites
The perfect weeknight recipes are fast, flavorful, & made with just a few ingredients, & this Furikake Salmon completely fits the bill – it’s made with just 5 simple ingredients & comes together in 25 minutes or less, basically a low-effort dinner dream!
The star of this dish is the furikake, an umami-rich Japanese rice seasoning made with nori seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, & salt. If furikake is a new-to-you ingredient, you’re in for quite a treat – it’s SO good sprinkled on anything with rice, but its umami also makes it a natural pairing with seafood.
To make furikake salmon, you simply slather the fish in a creamy Kewpie mayo sauce seasoned with shoyu & wasabi, then cover it with a generous sprinkling of furikake. Bake it in the oven (or the air fryer!) until the salmon is tender & flaky with a totally crispy furikake crust.
This easy recipe is a popular weeknight dinner in Hawaii, where my family is from, so I’m really excited to share it with you. Check the blog post, above, for more background & prep tips. ♡ Happy cooking!
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 ½ – 2 pounds fresh salmon fillet, sliced into 4 portions
- ¼ cup Kewpie mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon shoyu (or soy sauce, or tamari if gluten-free)
- optional: 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi paste
- ¼ cup furikake (see Recipe Notes)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: rice, sautéed cabbage or bok choy, thinly sliced green onions, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Lightly spritz the surface of a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. (For easy clean up, you can also line your pan with parchment paper or foil.) Set aside. Gather & prep all ingredients according to Ingredients List, above.
- Prepare the furikake salmon: Season the entire surface of the salmon fillets well with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet, salmon skin side facing down. To a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, shoyu, & prepared wasabi paste (if using), & mix to combine very well. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over each salmon fillet, spreading it so it coats the entire surface of the fish. Sprinkle furikake over the salmon, covering the mayo mixture thoroughly.
- Bake the furikake salmon: Transfer the prepared salmon to the oven. Bake 12-14 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to your liking & flakes easily when nudge of a fork.
- Serve the furikake salmon immediately, alongside rice & your veggie of choice. Garnish with extra furikake & thinly sliced green onions as desired. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese variety of mayonnaise made exclusively with egg yolks & seasoned with a little MSG. As a result, Kewpie mayonnaise is notably richer than standard American mayonnaise – both in flavor & texture. Since furikake salmon is really such a simple dish, using Kewpie mayo helps build in a little extra flavor without any added effort. These days, you can find Kewpie mayo readily in Asian grocery stores, the “international” aisle of large conventional grocery stores near other Asian ingredients, or online. If you prefer to use another type of mayonnaise for this furikake salmon recipe – go for it!
- Fuikake is a Japanese rice seasoning made of sesame seeds, nori, salt, & sugar. It’s a total umami bomb & it’s the star ingredient of furikake salmon, of course! Furikake has grown increasingly popular in recent years, so you can often find it in the “international” aisle at most conventional grocery stores near other Asian ingredients. You can also order it online.
- Alternate Cooking Method: Air Fryer Furikake Salmon: Preheat an air fryer to 380 degrees F. While the air fryer preheats, prepare the furikake salmon according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions, above. Working quickly, lightly spritz the hot air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, then carefully lay the furikake salmon into the basket skin side facing down. Air fry the furikake salmon 10-12 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to your liking & flakes easily when nudge of a fork. Serve as described in Step 4 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover furikake salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Leftovers are great served cold, though you can also reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.