Dried seasoning for sprinkling on rice (furikake), is a seasoning which is sprinkled over or mixed with steamed rice. There are many different types, including shiso (akajiso – perilla), dried bonito, sesame & dried laver and black sesame & salt. The latter is especially popular with red bean rice (sekihan) which is eaten on happy occasions such as birthdays, weddings, Children's Day, etc. Dried seasoning for sprinkling on rice has been thought of as a nutritious food ever since the Taishō period, about 100 years ago. It is very simple to eat with rice, and is often used in box lunches and in rice balls.
Tsukudani is any food which has been simmered in soy sauce and sugar (or mirin). It is strongly seasoned and well-preserved and is often put in rice balls. There are many kinds of tsukudani such as sea tangle, laver, beef, clam, eel, small fish, etc.
Karashi-mentaiko is Alaska pollack roe which has been soaked in sake and soy sauce and seasoned with cayenne peppers, dried sea tangle (konbu) and sugar. It is very famous in Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyūshū, the southernmost main island in Japan). Mentaiko is not only eaten as a steamed rice topping, but also included in rice balls and spaghetti sauce.
Tarako is Alaska pollack roe which has been soaked in salt and water. The most famous kind comes from Hokkaidō, the northernmost island of Japan, but tarako is very popular throughout Japan. It is not only eaten as a steamed rice topping, but also included in rice balls and spaghetti sauce. Among Japanese-style spaghetti sauces, that made with tarako is one of the most popular in Japan.
Menma is made by soaking fermented dried machiku (bamboo shoots) in water and seasoning it with soy sauce, sugar, sweet sake for seasoning (mirin) or others. Menma is often used in ramen topping.