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Learn how to make this spicy Japanese seasoning at home, and you'll be sprinkling it over everything from udon noodles to french fries.

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What Is Shichimi Togarashi?

Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that translates to “seven-flavor chili pepper.” Sometimes called “Japanese seven spice,” shichimi togarashi is typically made from seven ingredients: red chili pepper, sansho pepper, hemp seeds and/or poppy seeds, white sesame seeds and/or black sesame seeds, ground ginger, yuzu or mandarin orange peel, and nori. Believed to have originated in seventeenth-century Tokyo, this spice mix is now a Japanese pantry staple.

3 Types of Japanese Togarashi

There are three popular chili powder seasonings in Japanese cuisine:

  1. Shichimi togarashi: Also known as Japanese seven spice, this spice blend includes red chili pepper, sansho pepper, hemp seeds and/or poppy seeds, sesame seeds, ginger, citrus peel, and nori.
  2. Ichimi togarashi: This simple chili powder, which means “one-flavor chili pepper” in Japanese, is simply red chili pepper. It is hotter than shichimi togarashi since it does not have the add-ons that give shichimi togarashi its citrusy, nutty, umami flavors.
  3. Nanami togarashi: Nanami togarashi, which translates to "seven seas chili pepper,” contains similar flavors to shichimi togarashi but is more citrus-forward to better complement seafood dishes.

How to Use Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi togarashi is an all-purpose condiment and finishing seasoning that you can add to a variety of soups, sides, and entrees.

  • Soups: Shichimi togarashi adds flavor to miso soup and noodle soups, such as ramen and udon.
  • Sides: Sprinkle avocado toast, plain rice, and popcorn with shichimi togarashi, or add it to tempura batter for an added kick for tempura vegetables.
  • Meats: Shichimi togarashi is often served with yakitori (grilled meats), shabu-shabu, and stir fry.
  • Seafood: Elevate the flavor of raw clams or oysters can be elevated with shichimi togarashi.

Shichimi Togarashi Seasoning Recipe

Makes
about 1/2 cup
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper, such as ichimi togarashi or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated dried orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds and/or black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds and/or poppyseeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground sansho peppercorns or Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon nori flakes (cut from about ½ sheet nori, or sold as anori)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
  2. Transfer the blend to an airtight container, and keep it in a cool, dry place.
  3. Sprinkle a small amount on grilled meats, noodle soups, and more.

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