Shichimi Togarashi: Magical Japanese Seven Spice Blend

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The Japanese don’t use chiles often, but when they do they make sure the blend delivers not only heat but great taste as well. Have you heard of Shichimi Togarashi?

Shichimi Togarashi, or Japanese Seven Spice Blend, is a common condiment used in Japanese cooking. It is made from a mixture of seven ingredients which may include ground chiles, dried orange peel, sesame seeds, seaweed flakes, ginger, and poppy seeds.

In this article, I’ll explain what it is, the history, and some unknown facts so be sure to read on!

Shichimi Togarashi- Magical Japanese Seven Spice Blend

Originally the blend was created to preserve food and enhance its flavor during cold winter months when citrus was scarce.

Today it is most often used to sprinkle over noodle soups or other savory dishes. The mix of flavors gives a unique kick and adds subtle sweetness to dishes.

Shichimi Togarashi contains two main types of chile: red pepper flakes (ichi-hiro) and black pepper (nigori-hiro). Red pepper adds slight heat while black pepper provides aroma and depth of flavor.

The other ingredients work together to pair with the heat of the peppers without overpowering them. For instance, dried orange peel adds sweetness while sesame seeds offer nuttiness.

Seaweed flakes provide texture as well as a briny taste from the ocean making shichimi togarashi an ideal seasoning for seafood dishes such as grilled salmon or shrimp tempura.

Ginger enhances the overall flavor profile and contributes its own unique spiciness while poppy seeds add subtle crunchy texture along with nuttiness.

In Japan shichimi togarashi has become so popular that it can be found in almost every restaurant and home kitchen cabinet.

Not only does it add flavor but it also serves as a garnish, giving traditional dishes a touch of color and vibrancy when sprinkled on top just before serving.

It can be added directly on food during cooking or at the table after served for individual diners to adjust their own spice levels according to their liking.

Depending on your preference you can use more than one type at once – perhaps red pepper bits in soup broth while sprinkling black pepper on top – for a more complex flavor combination that will truly elevate any meal!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.