Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice Mix)
What Is It?
Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice mix that translates very literally to “seven flavor chile pepper”. As with almost any spice mix, the blend of ingredients varies. Typical ingredients include sansho or Sichuan pepper, dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, ginger, garlic, shiso, and nori.
Why Make It?
This spice mix is complex and when made at home, can be blended to suit your tastes. It is great mixed with rice or on a noodle bowl but it’s uses extend beyond Asian inspired dishes. Here are a few tasty ways to use it:
- Sprinkled on popcorn
- Tossed with roasted or grilled vegetables
- Sprinkled on avocado toast
- Mixed with tropical fruit
- Spice up any style of eggs
- Flavor a bean soup
- Add to potato salad
How to Make It
I was originally drawn to this spice mix because I was looking for a way to use dehydrated greens. They aren’t a traditional component but you can make it with just about anything when you understand the basic flavor components:
- Heat: sansho or Sichuan pepper, red pepper flakes, hot paprika, cayenne
- Sea: nori, dulse, bonito flakes
- Citrus: yuzu, orange peel, lemon peel
- Herbal: shiso, basil, cilantro, mint
- Nutty: sesame, hemp and poppy seeds
- Onion: garlic, onions and leeks
You can use traditional ingredients but don’t be afraid to swap out flavors. Here are some experiments I have tried:
- I didn’t have any herbs but instead used dried greens (I have tried both radish and kohlrabi greens). They don’t impart quite the same flavor profile but I was happy to have a spice mix rich in greens.
- I ran out of nori and dulse flakes so decided to use bonito flakes instead. I actually liked the overall flavor of the spice mix more as it added extra complexity that the nori/dulse flakes did not.
- I made a bunch of leek powder a while ago from the dark parts that usually get thrown in the compost. They aren’t as pungent as onion powder so I used a mix of onion and leek powder in the recipe below.
Shichimi Togarashi with Dried Greens
Japanese 7 Spice Mix
Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for a few months.
I have dried greens in both an electric dehydrator and the oven. I prefer the oven because it happens faster and I can keep a closer eye on the progress. I used a 200°F oven and tossed them every 7 minutes or so until they were crumbly.