5 Minute Recipes/ Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Japanese 7 Spice – Shichimi Togarashi

09/09/2020 (Last Updated: 30/10/2020)

The super easy Japanese 7 spice blend is here to transform your dishes. Sprinkle your homemade Shichimi Togarashi over everything – udon noodles, dipping sauces and anything else you want to spice up. Ready in less than 5 minutes, and you guessed – only 7 ingredients!

Overflowing jar of shichimi togarashi with bowl in background.

Why We Love This

We are spice fanatics, and while Japanese cuisine is not known to have any spice at all – shichimi togarashi is the exception to this rule.

You’ll find the spice in most restaurants throughout Japan, either in a little bottle or a small bowl with a teeny, tiny spoon – you definitely want to use this sparingly. A little goes a long way!

Seven spices in white dishes.

What is Japanese Seven Spice? 

Japanese 7 spice is also known as Shichimi Togarashi and is a very popular spice blend found both in restaurants and Japanese homes. You’ll have most likely seen it premade in a little red S&B bottle, but we think the homemade version is just as good – if not better!

This zesty seasoning is commonly topped over noodle and rice dishes in Japan, but it’s also popular to dip grilled meats such as chicken and beef.

What You’ll Need

You’re only 7 ingredients away from this gorgeously bright and colourful spice blend to add to your repertoire.

Chilli Powder: This is the heart of the dish and the source of the hot and spicy heat. Whether you use chilli powder, chilli flakes, chili pepper (US folks!), cayenne pepper or even gochugaru (Korean chilli powder) – use whatever you like here.

Pepper: The other addition of heat for this mix – the pepper! The style of pepper used in this spice blend has a unique numbing feel on the tongue, without being too spicy. It’s best to use Japanese sansho pepper (it’s on Amazon), it’s in the green S&B bottle in the pepper section of most Japanese supermarkets. If you can’t find it, a close second is Chinese sichuan / szechuan pepper corns. These are also available at Asian supermarkets or online and are best when freshly ground. In an absolute pinch, just use cracked or ground black pepper.

Aonori: Traditionally togarashi uses crushed nori sheets, but if you can get hold of aonori flakes, this makes it a little quicker. If using nori, just use one sheet.

Citrus Powder: You can source lemon and orange peel powder in some supermarkets or online. We couldn’t, so we made our own. To do this yourself, finely grate the peel of one lemon or orange. Pop onto an oven tray, lined with a sheet of baking paper. Set your oven to it’s lowest setting or ‘Keep Warm’, and allow it to dry for around 20-30 mins. Once it turns a shade or two darker, and feels dry to the touch, it’s ready to go in your spice blend!

Black Sesame Seeds: This should be easy to find at the supermarket, however, if you can’t find them a popular alternative is using poppy seeds instead.

Ingredients laid out for Japanese 7 spice.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • If you want a finer blend, pop everything into a mortar and pestle. Grind for a few minutes before popping it in a bottle.
  • For a smokier blend, dry fry ingredients in a small frying pan on low for a few minutes. Stop once the mix starts to darken and smell extra fragrant. Turn off the heat and allow to cool before storing.

FAQs

How do you use Japanese Seven Spice?

This spice blend is best used in place of regular pepper, for a more fragrant and flavourful spice hit. It goes especially well sprinkled over Japanese dishes.

What are the spices that make up Shichimi Togarashi?

There’s seven spices in total – chilli powder, sansho or szechuan pepper, citrus powder, black sesame or poppy seeds, white sesame, aonori or nori and ginger powder. Some recipes also include whole hemp seeds.

Is this Japanese 7 Spice similar to Chinese 5 Spice?

7 spice and 5 spice are on opposite ends of the flavour and use scale. Seven spice is like a spicy pepper with a slight citrus slant and used to sprinkle over dishes. Five spice on the other hand, is heavy on the anise and cinnamon aromas and is usually used within a dish or as a marinade base.

What are some recipe ideas to have with Shichimi Togarashi?

For a quick spice hit, sprinkle over dishes like okonomiyaki, udon noodle soup, shabu shabu, mentsuyu, miso soup, yudofu or takoyaki.

Jar of Japanese 7 spice spilling over in a jar.

Here’s a few dishes you’ll want to sprinkle your new spice blend over:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Jar of freshly mixed shimichi togarashi.

Japanese 7 Spice – Shichimi Togarashi

The super easy Japanese spice blend is here to transform your dishes. Sprinkle your homemade Shichimi Togarashi over everything – udon noodles, dipping sauces and anything else you want to spice up. Ready in less than 5 minutes, and you guessed – only 7 ingredients!
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 1 Jar
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the red pepper, white and black sesame seeds, ground sichuan peppercorns, aonori, citrus powder and ground ginger in a small bowl. Mix until combined and store in a glass jar or airtight container.

Video

Recipe Notes

To make this recipe just right:
  • If you want a finer blend, pop everything into a mortar and pestle and grind for a few minutes before popping it in a bottle.
  • For a smokier blend, dry fry ingredients in a small frying pan on low for a few minutes until the mix starts to darken and smell extra fragrant. Turn off the heat and allow to cool before storing.
  • Chilli Powder: This is the heart of the dish and the source of the hot and spicy heat. Whether you use chilli powder, chilli flakes, chili pepper (US folks!), cayenne pepper or even gochugaru (Korean chilli powder) – use whatever you like here.
  • Pepper: The other addition of heat for this mix – the pepper! The style of pepper used in this spice blend has a unique numbing feel on the tongue, without being too spicy. It’s best to use Japanese sansho pepper (it’s on Amazon), it’s in the green S&B bottle in the pepper section of most Japanese supermarkets. If you can’t find it, a close second is Chinese sichuan / szechuan pepper corns, which are also available at Asian supermarkets or online and are best when freshly ground. In an absolute pinch, just use cracked or ground black pepper.
  • Aonori: Traditionally togarashi uses crushed nori sheets, but if you can get hold of aonori flakes, this makes it a little quicker. If using nori, just use one sheet.
  • Citrus Powder: You can source lemon and orange peel powder in some supermarkets or online. We couldn’t, so we made our own. To do this yourself, finely grate the peel of one lemon or orange onto an oven tray, lined with a sheet of baking paper. Set your oven to it’s lowest setting or ‘Keep Warm’, and allow it to dry for around 20-30 mins. Once it turns a shade or two darker, and feels dry to the touch, it’s ready to go in your spice blend!
  • Black Sesame Seeds: This should be easy to find at the supermarket, however, if you can’t find them a popular alternative is using poppy seeds instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 582IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 3mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Japanese 7 Spice - Shichimi Togarashi

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