A Little Bit of Spice

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I’m a big fan of the Japanese spice blend Shichimi togarashi, which is a mixture of seven different ingredients. I use it frequently in my cooking, and have decided to start this blog to share some of my recipes and ideas for using shichimi peppers.

The Japanese seven flavor chili pepper is a spice mixture that includes red pepper, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, hemp seed, poppy seed, orange peel, and ginger. The spice is used in a wide variety of dishes, including noodles and soups.The word shichimi comes from the Japanese word for seven, shichi. The word shichimi is also the name of a popular brand of the spice mixture sold in Japan. In fact, the name Shichimi is so well known in Japan that it has become a synonym for spice mixtures of any type.

For those who are unfamiliar with this spicy blend it may be helpful to know that it consists of 7 ingredients which are ground into a fine powder and then packaged together in small tins or packets. Each ingredient within the mixture contributes to its overall flavor and can be used separately as well as in combination with other ingredients.

Shichimi can be purchased as whole seeds or as ground powder mix depending upon how you want to use it. It is often found within the Asian food section of most supermarkets and is also available on-line.*

It was an epic journey. I had a one-way ticket, with no return date. I had no money, no home and no clue what I was doing. Still, the thought of going to Japan was the only thing that kept me going.

Shichimi is a spice mix commonly used in Japanese cooking, it’s bright red color reminiscent of the sun setting over a mountain range in the distance. The exact ingredients depend on what region you’re in and who you ask, but it has some combination of seven different spices: sanshō (Japanese pepper), black sesame seed, white sesame seed, orange peel, hemp seed, kelp and ginger. The names of these spices are not always interchangeable. That’s why there’s no such thing as a ‘shichimi set’ or one definitive shichimi mix.

It’s also a nickname for my life. My first name is Shichimi and I was born in Sapporo–the capital of Hokkaido where shichimi peppers come from–and then moved to Tokyo when I was young. It should’ve been paradise: long summer days basking in sunlight and hanging out with friends all day long at the park or the beach, but it wasn’t.


Shichimi is a spice blend used in Japan.

Shichimi can be used as a condiment in many ways, and also to flavor cooked foods. It can be sprinkled on grilled fish or chicken, added to noodles, soups or stews. It can also be sprinkled over rice or noodles. It is great over tempura fish and vegetables.

With the addition of salt, shichimi is particularly good on boiled green beans, spinach and other leafy greens.

Shichimi is also delicious with tofu and soba noodles. Add a little to pickles for a zesty bite!

Also try adding shichimi to macaroni & cheese for a delicious twist!

Shichimi (七味) literally means “Seven Flavors”. The shichimi peppers themselves are a blend of seven different whole spices, including red pepper, orange peel, sansho pepper, ginger, nori seaweed, black sesame seeds and white sesame seeds.

Taste is one thing and aroma is another. The taste of shichimi is quite spicy but with a hint of sweetness. The aroma is more complex and includes hints of citrus and eucalyptus.

The distinct flavor of shichimi can be used in many dishes. It can be sprinkled on rice or noodles (especially ramen), tofu, fish and meat dishes. It’s especially good on grilled fish. Shichimi can also be used as a condiment for soups, stews or noodle dishes and even as a topping for salads.**

**Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shichimi_togarashi

Shichimi (七味) is the Japanese seven-flavored chili pepper, most often translated as a blend of chili peppers, sansho (Japanese pepper), sesame seeds, orange peel, hemp seed, ginger and nori (seaweed). It is an essential ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking. It is sometimes called shichimi togarashi.

Shichimi can be used whole or ground into a powder. The whole spice can be kept for one year in a sealed container away from sunlight and moisture at room temperature. Ground shichimi loses its flavor quickly. Shichimi is also available in a red color which is made without the addition of red chili pepper and has a milder taste.

There are many different brands of shichimi spice mix in Japan that vary slightly in their ingredients but they all use the seven spices mentioned above. Some contain a little bit of chili oil to provide the spicy heat, while others don’t contain any added chili oil which results in less spicy shichimi. In addition to being used as a condiment for Japanese food, it is also often served with soba noodles or yakitori chicken skewers.*

Shichimi is a spice blend made up of seven ingredients: red pepper, sansho (Japanese prickly ash), black pepper, hemp seed, ginger, white sesame, and nori.

The name shichimi literally means “seven flavors”. But it doesn’t actually taste like seven different things. Its flavor is complex but harmonious and it’s difficult to describe in words. It’s spicy, yes, but one that’s refreshing and tingles the tongue. It’s also savory and sweet. It tastes good with anything you can dip into it: tofu, cucumbers, deep-fried tofu puffs, raw fish (sushi), deep-fried fish (ebi-ten), boiled octopus (tako-su), grilled eel (unagi), fried chicken (karaage), cold soba noodles (zaru-soba), you name it.

I’ve been using shichimi as a condiment for years now and I love the mix of flavors. The spices are always there in the back of my head reminding me that something is delicious and I want more of it. I like to think that even though I have no idea what shichimi tastes like on its own, I know what it tastes like

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