Spice Up with Shichimi Togarashi: Everything You Need to Know

Spice up your kitchen with a bit of adventure! Have you heard of Shichimi Togarashi? This Japanese blend is a game-changer for dishes that need that extra kick—tired of the same old seasonings? 

Shichimi Togarashi can be the solution to your culinary woes.

Are you looking for a new flavor experience? Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend of seven ingredients: red chili pepper, orange peel, and sesame seeds. This seasoning can liven up any dish and add complexity to flavors. 

Whether you’re cooking up noodles or veggies, Shichimi Togarashi has got you covered.

Ready to add some spice to your life? Let’s go! In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the origins of this spice blend, how it can complement certain dishes, and tips on making your blend.

The Origins of Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that has been around for centuries. It was made by local herb dealers in Edo, now known as Tokyo, in the 17th century. 

Initially, it was created as a medicine to help with various ailments, but it eventually became famous as a seasoning for food. 

The name “togarashi” refers to the red pepper that is a main ingredient in the spice blend, and that pepper came from Central and South America, making its way to Japan via Europe.

So why does shichimi togarashi typically contain seven ingredients? Each one serves a specific purpose and adds a unique flavor to the blend.

While shichimi togarashi may have originated as a medicine, it has become a special seasoning in Japanese cuisine. 

It’s commonly used on dishes like udon noodles, rice bowls, and broth-based soups. And with its unique blend of flavors, it’s no wonder it’s become such a staple in Japanese cooking.

The Seven Ingredients in Shichimi Togarashi

The recipe usually includes black and white sesame seeds, dried green seaweed flakes, and ground ginger.

 Sold commercially in Japan since the 17th century, Shichimi togarashi is typically used as a seasoning for soups, noodles, grilled meats, and vegetables.

Red Chili Pepper

Red chili pepper adds heat to the spice and gives it its signature flavor. It’s made from drying and grinding red chili peppers and can be adjusted depending on the desired level of spiciness.

Sansho or Szechuan Pepper

Sansho or Szechuan pepper, often used in Chinese cuisine, adds a slightly numbing, citrusy flavor to shichimi togarashi. It’s made from the dried fruit of the Zanthoxylum plant and is an essential ingredient in this spice blend.

Dried Orange Peel

The citrusy and slightly bitter taste of dried orange peel provides a fragrant aroma to shichimi togarashi. It’s made by drying and grinding the outer layer of oranges.

Black and White Sesame Seeds

Both black and white sesame seeds add a nutty flavor and crunch. Black sesame seeds are more common in Japan, but some variations of shichimi togarashi also use white sesame seeds.

Dried Green Seaweed Flakes

Aonori, or dried green seaweed flakes, provide a unique umami flavor to shichimi togarashi. It’s made by drying and crushing different types of seaweed.

Ground Ginger

Ground ginger is added to shichimi togarashi for a slightly sweet and spicy taste. It’s made from the dried and ground rhizome of the ginger plant.

Combining these seven ingredients brings a harmonious balance of heat, umami, nuttiness, and citrusy flavor to shichimi togarashi. 

It’s not only popular in Japan but also used widely around the world as a seasoning for a variety of dishes.

How Shichimi Togarashi Can Complement Different Dishes

Shichimi togarashi is an all-purpose seasoning that can enhance various dishes differently. This spicy and flavorful condiment can be sprinkled on noodles, hot pots, and grilled or fried foods. 

It can also flavor veggies, marinades, and pickling brines. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some ways in which shichimi togarashi can complement different dishes:

  1. Noodles: Sprinkle shichimi togarashi on udon, soba, or ramen noodles to add heat and flavor. It can also be mixed with soy sauce and sesame oil for a tasty dipping sauce for cold noodles.
  2. Vegetables: Steamed or roasted veggies can be transformed by sprinkling shichimi togarashi on top. It works great with broccoli, asparagus, and green beans.
  3. Meat and fish: Marinades for meat or fish can benefit from adding shichimi togarashi, which adds an extra layer of flavor. It’s also great sprinkled on grilled meats, such as yakitori.

Noodles and Shichimi Togarashi – A Perfect Pairing

Noodles and shichimi togarashi are a match made in heaven. Shichimi togarashi is a popular Japanese spice blend that adds flavor to any dish it is sprinkled on. 

Paired with noodles, it enhances the umami flavor and creates an unforgettable taste experience.

Shichimi togarashi is traditionally used as a condiment to be sprinkled on soba or udon noodles. Combining these spices creates a complex, flavorful seasoning that perfectly complements the mild taste of the noodles.

But noodles and shichimi togarashi aren’t just limited to soba and udon. The spice blend can be used in various noodle dishes, including ramen and miso soup. 

It can also be sprinkled on yakitori or a plain bowl of rice to add flavor.

If you’re new to shichimi togarashi, feel free of its complexity. The spice blend is versatile and easy to use. Sprinkle a pinch over your noodles before serving, and enjoy the added depth of flavor. 

Shichimi togarashi can be found at most Asian grocery stores or ordered online, so there’s no excuse not to try this delicious seasoning.

Using Shichimi Togarashi with Vegetables for Bold Flavors

Shichimi togarashi is a fantastic way to add bold and unique flavor to your vegetable dishes. 

This spice blend is a versatile addition to salads, vinaigrettes, and salad dressings, bringing a bold touch to your meals. 

Shichimi togarashi is a classic ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and it can be used in several dishes to bring out the best in vegetables.

One of the most popular uses for shichimi togarashi is in teriyaki sauce. This sauce is a favorite for Japanese cuisine, and adding shichimi togarashi can add an irresistible kick to the sauce. 

You can also use shichimi togarashi to season rice dishes, creating a unique flavor profile that pairs well with vegetables.

Shichimi togarashi is an excellent addition to stir-fried dishes and can also be used to flavor grilled vegetables. 

Shichimi togarashi pairs wonderfully with seafood and chicken, but it is also a great spice blend for vegetables, adding a spicy kick without overpowering the natural flavors of the vegetables. 

Simply sprinkle shichimi togarashi on your grilled vegetables before serving, and you’ll have a robust and flavorful side perfect for any meal.

Making Your Own Shichimi Togarashi Blend – Tips and Tricks

Making your shichimi togarashi can be a fun and rewarding experience. 

To start, gather the traditional ingredients, including red chili pepper, Szechuan pepper, dried orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, dried green seaweed flakes, and ground ginger. 

Here are some tips and tricks to make your blend extra special:

  • Experiment with other spices: Add hemp seeds or shichimi togarashi for extra heat or yuzu peel powder or mandarin zest for a citrusy twist.
  • Adjust the heat level: If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, use less red chili pepper or milder options like Aleppo pepper.
  • Use fresh ingredients: Toasting the sesame seeds and Szechuan peppercorns before grinding them will enhance their flavor. For the best results, use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
  • Store it properly: Once you’ve made your shichimi togarashi blend, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to six months.

When making your blend, remember that the traditional ratios are three parts chili pepper to one part each of the other ingredients. 

However, you can adjust these ratios to your liking. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with new flavor combinations.

Making your shichimi togarashi blend is an excellent way to add a unique flavor profile to your dishes. It’s commonly used in Japanese cuisine to season noodle dishes, rice bowls, and grilled meats. 

However, you can also add a spicy kick to soups and stews or as a condiment for dipping sauces.

Where to Buy Shichimi Togarashi and How to Store It

Shichimi togarashi, the famous Japanese spice blend, can be easily purchased at several grocery and specialty food stores as well as online retailers. 

Some notable places you can find it are Walmart, Amazon, Whole Foods Market, Spice Trekkers, and Savory Spice. You can buy shichimi togarashi in small quantities or in bulk as required.

To keep shichimi togarashi fresh and flavorful, it is essential to store it properly. You should store it in an airtight container, preferably glass or stainless steel, away from heat and moisture. 

An excellent, dry place like a pantry or a spice cabinet is perfect for storing shichimi togarashi. It is also necessary to avoid exposing the spice blend to sunlight as it can reduce its flavor and aroma. 

Proper storage can maintain the quality of shichimi togarashi for up to six months.

Shichimi togarashi is a versatile spice blend that can be used for various dishes, but storing it appropriately is crucial to retain its flavor and aroma. 

Avoid using plastic or paper bags for storing shichimi togarashi as they can allow air and moisture to enter, reducing the spice blend’s quality. 

Shichimi Togarashi Substitute

Are you looking for a substitute for shichimi togarashi in your recipe? There are plenty of options to choose from! Some popular substitutes for shichimi togarashi include:

  • Chili powder and salt: Mix chili powder and salt in equal parts to add a spicy kick to your dish.
  • Furikake: This Japanese seasoning mix includes salt, sesame seeds, and chili flakes. Use it as a substitute for shichimi togarashi to add heat and flavor to your dish.
  • Ichimi togarashi: If you still want the flavor of togarashi but not as much heat, try using shichimi togarashi. This type of Japanese chili pepper is less spicy than shichimi togarashi.
  • Cayenne pepper: Use cayenne pepper in moderation, as it can be pretty spicy. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
  • Hot sauce: Use the hot sauce as a simple way to add heat to your dish. However, remember that hot sauces can vary significantly in flavor and heat level, so choose one that complements the other flavors in your recipe.

Overall, there are plenty of substitutes for shichimi togarashi that you can use in your recipes. Experiment with different options to find the one that works best for you!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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