3.1.10 Condimental: Spice Girl

Shichimi1 790 xxx
photo by george billard
If you've ever been out for Japanese food (not just sushi, but maybe soba or yakitori or hot pots), you may have noticed a little red shaker on the condiment tray. That's shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend traditionally eaten on noodles, soups and stews. It's made from a combination of seven spices (shichi means seven in Japanese), most commonly ground red chili pepper, dried orange peel, black sesame, white sesame, ginger, ground sansho, and nori flakes or powder. You'll often also see a little green shaker alongside, and that's just plain sansho, a berry from the prickly ash tree that is a relative of the Sichuan peppercorn. It has that same peppery-piney flavor that leaves a slight tingle on the tongue. You can find both these condiments at any Japanese market, or online at Japanese food specialty sites.
Here are a few ideas on how to use these deliciously spiced shakes:on riceon scrambled eggson soupson roast chickenon noodleson nutson grilled fishon grilled lamb chopsand pretty much anywhere you would add pepper or need a little kick of flavor
Shichimi2 790 xxx
photo by george billard
Here's a recipe if you'd like to try making your own.SHICHIMI TOGARASHI3 teaspoons ground red chili pepper3 teaspoons sansho powder1 teaspoon nori flakes3 teaspoons dried orange peel1 teaspoon white sesame seeds1 teaspoon black sesame seeds1 teaspoon ground gingerMix all the ingredients together and store in a jar or covered shaker. Other additions or substitutions might include poppy seeds, dried yuzu peel, hemp seeds, rapeseed or garlic. FYI: sesame seeds are high in unsaturated fatty acids and protein.


I love adding new spices to my shelf and this is so totally new to me. Will definitely be making my own this weekend. I love the range here; it really can work with a lot of things. Have you used fresh yuzu fruit or found dried yuzu? Sounds like that might be more of a hunt.
nakedbeet on March 1, 2010 at 8:58 am —
I confess to actually just using the ready-made version. I have a yuzu in my fridge at this very moment though. I think you could zest that or an orange or tangerine and just let it dry before mixing it in. You don't want your mix to have any wet elements that will cause clumping. Let me know how it works out!
laura on March 1, 2010 at 9:13 am —
speaking of kindred spirits- gosh, you dont know how happy this has made me- i adore togarashi and have it almost every day at the lunch place i frequent during my working days. love reading about it on your blog and the post title is so catchy- Spice Girl. loves it.
shayma on March 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm —