I lived in the UK and the US (and still living) so far in my life experience of living abroad (well, lived in Canada but decades ago…) and I have seen SHICHIMI TOGARASHI (I often saw it is called “nanami togarahi” in the UK somehow), so, I guess it is already known for the popular Japanese condiment.
Although you have not heard about SHICHIMI togarashi yet, you will find out it is an addictive extra kick to your dish-the toasty, exotic Japanese spice mix.
Let’s break down the term SHICHIMI TOGARASHI.
Togarashi literally means “chili peppers” in Japanese which refers to both “raw” and “dried”.
The most common type of chili togarashi in Japan is called “TAKANOTSUME” called “Bird’s eye chili or Thai chili ” in English.
Generally, dried bird’s eye chili pepper can be the top pantry condiment in Japanese home cooking.
You may also have seen chili threads on an Asian dish, which we call “ITO TOGARASHI” and mainly used for decorations.
Because of the option of decoration, these chili threads are not spicy.
“AO TOGARASHI” which means “green chili pepper” is also popular especially used for the local condiment called “YUZU KOSHO”.
SO WHAT’S SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
Now, you know TOGARASHI means chili peppers and can easily guess SHICHIMI togarashi is something about chili peppers.
“Shichimi” refers to seven flavors, so SHICHIMI TOGARASHI is the spice mix with seven spices including dried chili pepper flakes.
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese condiment made of blended spices such as roasted red chili pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and other spices which can provide a rich aroma and flavor to any Japanese cuisine.
It works well with any Japanese dish from simple to greasy dishes.
WHY IT IS CALLED “NANAMI”?
Regarding the reason why Shichimi Togarashi overseas is called “Nanami” instead of “Shichimi”, the S&B official website explains, “people who don’t speak Japanese likely confuse the pronunciation between shichimi and Ichimi”. “Also, some ingredients are used for SHICHIMI TOGARASHI sold overseas.”
Contrary to SHICHIMI togarashi, ICHIMI TOGARASHI is made of only toasted red chili pepper flakes.
Ichimi Togarashi is made from finely powdered dried chili peppers. Since the only ingredient is chili pepper, you can enjoy the “kick” directly.
Various types of chili peppers are used for ichimi chili peppers, and the spiciness varies depending on the type of chili pepper, such as bird’s eye, habanero, and jalapeno.
Like S&B Ichimi Togarashi, it is mild spicy means it is not spicy at all for those who like hot spicy food like me.
If you want to upgrade a hot kick flavor in your “Ichimi”, how about Yawataya Isogoro Ichimi Togarashi?
It can provide a spicy flavor to your dish and enjoy high-quality roasted chili pepper flakes with just one shake.
7 SPICES IN SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
The term “Shichimi Togarashi” generally refers to chili pepper flakes (powder) made of blended spices.
Actually, the number of spices is not necessary to be 7 kinds, the one will be called Shichimi togarashi despite it contains less or more 7 kinds.
Commonly, roasted red chili peppers, Japanese sansho pepper, toasted black sesame seeds, ao-nori flakes, and dried orange peels are used for SHICHIMI TOGARASHI.
Additionally, hemp seeds and poppy seeds are popular spices in Japan.
As I mentioned, the ingredients of SHICHIMI TOGARASHI differ depending on where you’ll get them since they are restricted contained in the products.
Instead of hemp seeds and poppy seeds, white sesame seeds and ginger are used for other countries according to S&B’s official website.
*By the way, as the ingredients of SHICHIMI TOGARASHI products in Japan, the poppy seeds and hemp seeds are non-toxic seeds used, and they are heat-treated so that they do not germinate.
- Roasted red pepper flakes
- Japanese “Sansho” pepper
- Roasted black sesame seeds
- Japanese “Shiso” perilla
- Dried orange peel
- AO-Nori seaweed
- Poppy seeds (*white sesame seeds)
- Hemp seeds (*ginger)
Japanese Sansho Pepper
Sansho pepper, known as Japanese pepper, is a spice with a strong citrus peppery flavor made from peppercorns from the Japanese “sansho” tree named Zanthoxylum piperitum.
A deciduous shrub of the Citrus family. There are thorns on the stem and branches.
The leaves and fruit have a strong aroma and pungent taste. The young leaves are called ‘tree buds, kinome in Japanese’ and are also used as a garnish.
Sansho peppers are generally used as ground, they have a greenish color. Sansho pepper has a unique citrus flavor like yuzu.
A fine, powdery flake, Aonori is a garnish made of seaweed, also known as green laver used for takoyaki, okonomiyaki, yakisoba noodles. Rich in magnesium and calcium, packed with Umami flavor.
HOW TO USE SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
SHICHIMI TOGARASHI and ICHIMI TOGARASHI are almost used as garnish rather than used as a seasoning in cooking.
These chili pepper flakes are carefully selected, blended, and roasted.
Besides, the attractive aroma and flavor go away when you cook them long when used as a seasoning so I recommend using these Japanese chili pepper flakes as a finish.
SHICHMI TOGARASHI is a versatile spice mix used when you want to enjoy a mild spicy flavor and aroma. (If you want to add a spicy kick, choose ichimi togarashi.)
Excellent compatibility with not only Japanese food, but also Asian to western.
It is commonly used as the garnish for Gyudon beef rice bowl, udon, and soba noodles, tonjiru pork miso soup, and stir-fried dishes such as Kinpira.
Also, SHISHIMI TOGARASHI goes well with Izakaya food such as yakitori and Gyusuji nikomi stew, besides it is often on the mayonnaise for dried squid.
Yawataya Isogoro Shichimi Togarashi is my favorite, and it is a great option for the first-timer or those who want to upgrade your Japanese chili pepper flakes.
With carefully selected ingredients and distinct spicy and flavorful aroma, you can find out it is THE DIFFERENT from other products.
It contains two refills to keep freshness and flavor.
Use up one to another to enjoy high-quality SHICHIMI TOGARASHI for each portion.
Store it in a fridge to enjoy the spiciness and aroma last longer.
RECIPES FOR SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
Easy slow cooking- This Japanese-style beef cheek stew combines rich red miso & red wine to make a flavorful appetizer. It is the staple Izakaya appetizer in Japan. Not only for the appetizer but also, can provide a savory melt-in-your-mouth topping on a rice bowl. This recipe is inspired by famous Nagoya local food called Dote-it’s originally Japanese beef tendon stew. The rich red miso flavor will definitely bring you an appetite. (*RECIPE→→)
Despite I recommend using SHICHIMI TOGARASHI as a garnish, this is a great option as the seasoning chicken breasts if using Yawataya Isogoro shichimi togarashi.
Don’t forget to sprinkle more before eating!
This Fried Chicken Breasts – crispy, tender thin-sliced chicken breasts coated in rice flour and potato starch mixture with the secret tip to make them super crunchy and crispy ever. Happy about pan-fry with a little oil. (*RECIPE→→→)
This easy stir-fry with vibrant greened shishito peppers with sliced garlic and a dash of soy sauce.
It is the staple vegetable side dish in Japan, a quick and easy summer vegetable recipe, perfect for a snack or appetizer!