Furikake Chex Mix

Furikake Chex Mix

I’ve always been an avid fan of classic Chex Mix. The massive batches of homemade, extra-Worcestershire Chex Mix I made for my dorm mates resulted in my college nickname “Chex Girl.” I’ve made the craveable, crunchy snack on the regular since. So imagine my rapture when, on a visit to Hawaii, I tasted a new-to-me, sweet-salty spin on the cereal-based snack! 

How Is Furikake Chex Mix Different From Regular Chex Mix?

The Hawaiian version of Chex mix begins in the familiar way with rice Chex, corn Chex, and pretzels, with some variation of extra cereal like Honeycomb cereal, but that’s where the similarities end. This moreish mix takes a Pacific turn with the addition of furikake, the Japanese seasoning made of tiny flakes of nori seaweed and sesame seeds. It adds an umami punch to lots of Hawaiian foods like poke, rice bowls, musubi…and also Chex mix! 

What Is Furikake?

Furikake comes in packets and glass jars with a wide range of flavor add-ins. Some contain bonito (smoked and dried fish flakes), tart ume plum, freeze dried kimchi, or even crunchy egg bits. Though all of the flavors of furikake work here, I go for the simple nori-sesame version (labeled “nori komi furikake”) from Ajishima brand. Try Trader Joe’s furikake if you’re avoiding MSG. 

Syrup Makes It Stick

To get the furikake to stick, a mixture of butter, corn syrup, and soy sauce is used to coat the cereal mixture. Though corn syrup is traditional, I prefer Lyle’s Golden syrup, because it’s made with pure cane sugar and it adds a subtle caramel dimension to the snack instead of just straight sweetness. Look for it in the baking aisle. Be sure to stir the syrup mixture thoroughly through the snack mix before adding the furikake or it will sink instead of sticking to the cereal. 

Let’s Talk Mix-Ins

To boost the Japanese-inspired flavor profile, I add wasabi peas for crunch and a pop of sinus-clearing spice. Look for the dried peas coated with wasabi in the bulk section of the grocery store, or wherever Asian snacks are sold.

I forgo the Honeycomb cereal, as it tears up the roof of your mouth and I find the sweetness a little too intense. Instead I include a salty snack to balance the sweetness of the syrup: either Cool Ranch Doritos or Bugles. I can’t have Chex Mix without nuts to dig around for, so I add a can of sesame stick-nut cocktail mix to round out the sweet-salty tableau. Regular salted nuts will do in a pinch.

Tips for Making Furikake Chex Mix

  • Use rimmed baking sheets—Use rimmed baking sheets to make sure the ingredients don’t escape while stirring.
  • Stir it regularly—Stirring the mix every 20 minutes will ensure everything is evenly browned.
  • Let it cool—Once baked, let the mixture cool before digging in. I know this bit is difficult, but it will be soggy at first and will become crisp as it cools, so it’s worth waiting.

“This version of the household classic snack has delicious Asian flavor influences. The recipe gives you plenty of room to alter towards your taste but you’ll do best aiming for a salty and slightly umami-rich nibble.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

A jumble of golden brow Chex cereal, pretzel rods, nuts, and wasabi peas A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (5 ounces) corn Chex cereal

  • 4 cups (5 ounces) rice Chex cereal

  • 4 cups (6 ounces) pretzel sticks

  • 3 cups (5 ounces) Cool Ranch Doritos (or salty snack of your choice)

  • 2 cups (8.5 ounces) sesame stick-nut mix (or cocktail nuts)

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) wasabi peas

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) salted butter

  • 1/2 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 (1.7-ounce) jar furikake

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    furikake chex mix ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Preheat the oven to 250 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

    two baking sheets lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Combine the corn and rice cereals, pretzels, Doritos, sesame stick-nut mix, and wasabi peas on one baking sheet. Set aside.

    furikake chex mix ingredients mixed together on one sheet pan

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Combine the butter, syrup, soy sauce, and onion powder in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly, about 4 minutes.

    sauce ingredients for furikake chex mix boiling in small pot

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Pour the syrup mixture evenly over the cereal mixture and stir gently with a spatula until all the liquid is absorbed and the cereal is evenly coated.

    furikake chex mix being tossed with sauce on sheet pan with rubber spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Sprinkle the furikake over the cereal and stir gently until evenly distributed. Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared baking sheets and spread it out in an even layer.

    furikake seasoning sprinkled on top of chex mix on two sheet pans

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Bake, stirring every 20 minutes and rotating and switching the position of the baking sheets in the oven, until the mixture is toasted and crisp, 1 hour. Allow the Chex mix to stand for 1 hour. It will crisp up as it cools.

    browned and baked furikake chex mix on two sheet trays

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

How to Store

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Feeling Adventurous? Try This:

  • Make it gluten free—You can substitute gluten free pretzels and tamari to make the recipe gluten free. 
  • Make it vegan—For a vegan version of the recipe, substitute neutral flavored oil for the butter. Substitute a vegan flavor of Doritos, such as Spicy Sweet Chili, for the Cool Ranch Doritos. Or use a salty vegan snack of your choosing.
  • Choose any salty snack—Replace the Doritos with the same volume of any salty snack of choice such as Bugles, SunChips, Fritos, or Goldfish Crackers.

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