Inside the Spice Cabinet: Shichimi Togarashi

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Luisa Gonzalez P)

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.

What Is Shichimi Togarashi?

Taste: Spicy
Most Popular Use: Meat, soup, vegetables

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.

How To Use Shichimi Togarashi

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, a simple bowl of steamed rice, even sprinkling it on avocado toast and popcorn.

Recipes for Cooking with Shichimi Togarashi