Friday food treat: Shichi-mi togarashi


Shichi-mi togarashi is also known as Japanese seven spice powder. As the name suggests it contains seven ingredients that blend to make a spicy flavour in salad dressings or other meat dishes. If you think this is a Japanese version of Chinese 5 spice powder – think again, and read on.

In a bid to recreate Japanese dishes with authentic flavours, I went in search of this condiment Jar of 7spicepowderin our local supermarket. I was not disappointed. The spice blend has been very easy to use as well – flavouring the dressing for a bean sprout salad, as well as on grilled chicken and pork. Oichi! (=delicious).

The main ingredient in shichi-mi togarashi is chilli, which on its own is not so easy to find here. Blended with the other components of the mix gives dishes a kick with a Japanese twist!

Apparently, a typical blend of shichi-mi togarashi may contain:

  • coarsely ground red chili pepper (the main ingredient)
  • ground sanshō or Japanese pepper
  • roasted orange peel
  • black sesame seed
  • white sesame seed
  • hemp seed
  • ground ginger
  • nori (seaweed)

By contrast, Chinese five spice powder is made up of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Szechwan peppercorns.

As well as being a condiment, this Japanese spice blend is a popular food souvenir at some of the country’s famous shrine festivals and tourist sites. We haven’t seen too much of that yet, focusing on learning to use it effectively first.

Share your comments here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: