Shichimi Togarashi: Japanese Seven Spice

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A popular food souvenir at some of Japan's famous shrine festivals and tourist sites, shichimi togarashi is a blend of seven flavors that tickle the tongue and enhance the flavor of noodles, grilled meats, and more. Of course, you don't have to go to Japan to incorporate this condiment into your everyday cooking. We love it sprinkled on avocado toast and popcorn! 

Originally sold by herbal medicine shops in the 17th century, shichimi togarashi (literally "seven flavor chile pepper") is a spicy-savory blend of coarsely ground chiles plus varying ingredients depending on the region, manufacturer, and cook. Some Japanese vendors even offer custom blends. In addition to the chiles, typical ingredients include sansho or Sichuan pepper, dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, ginger, garlic, shiso, and nori

Sprinkle this versatile condiment over udon noodles, shabu shabu hot pots, yakitori, tempura, and other fried and grilled foods. We also like using it to flavor steamed vegetables, oven fries, or a simple bowl of steamed rice. Here are a few other fun recipes: 

Togarashi Popcorn - Bon Appétit
Glazed Pork Ribs with Shichimi Togarashi - Bon Appétit
Crispy Chicken Wings with Seven-Spice-Powder Marinade - Serious Eats
Spicy Mango Salad with Shichimi Togarashi - Herbivoracious
Avocado Sashimi - La Fuji Mama

How do you like using shichimi togarashi? 

Make it: Shichimi Togarashi recipe at CHOW
Buy it: Shichimi Togarashi, $4.40 at Amazon
or look for it at Japanese markets and independent spice shops

(Image: Emily Ho)

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