A couple of years ago I was curious about the origins of the spicy Japanese condiment called togarashi. It’s a mix of red chilis, sesame seeds, seaweed, and other spices. It was hard to find information on it, though. I started this blog as a way of answering questions such as “what is togarashi made out of?” and “where is it used?”. In the process I learned a lot more about the history and use of togarashi than I expected.
**I am not an expert on this topic by any means; this blog represents what I’ve been able to learn about togarashi since my initial curiosity and reading a few books. If you know something that disagrees with what I say or want more information on one of these points, please let me know in the comments!**
Togarashi is a spice commonly found in Japanese cuisine. It is a close relative of Sichuan pepper, which is also known as sansho in Japan. Togarashi is both used as a spice and as an ingredient in many Japanese dishes.
Togarashi was developed from the ancient pepper, or sansho, being cultivated on the island of Shikoku. It was brought over by Buddhist monks from China around the 9th century AD. The first time togarashi was used was in the middle ages by commoners and samurai (warriors) alike in Japan.
Togarashi is made out of rice and chili peppers, with the average mixture consisting of red chili peppers, black sesame seeds and ginger root.
Togarashi is a chili powder that is ground with a variety of ingredients and used as a condiment in Japanese cuisine. The word “togarashi” is a conjugation of the verb “togasu”, which means “to scatter” or “to sprinkle”. The word also refers to the various spices used to make the powder. It includes sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, sansho pepper, ginger root, yuzu peel and other spices. The mixture of ingredients is ground together then mixed with sesame oil to create the powdered spice.
Togarashi has been used for centuries in Japan and has been a popular spice for cooking food since the 12th century. Although there are many different blends of togarashi, coarsely ground sesame and poppyseed are some common ingredients used to make it.
The traditional story goes that the ninja would carry togarashi in a little pouch around their neck, and throw it at the enemy.
It was originally made with the Shiso (perilla) leaf, but over time this was replaced by the red chili pepper, which is more readily available. This ingredient is what gives our Togarashi its distinctive red colour.
The word ‘Togarashi’ refers to the combination of three Japanese spices: red chili pepper (Togarashi), sansho (Japanese prickly ash) and sesame seeds. The original spice had just chili pepper and sesame seeds, so we believe our product tastes even better!
Kabuki actors began using Togarashi in their makeup, because it helps cool the skin under heavy stage make-up. Actors used to add a little water to create a paste they could apply easily by hand.
Today, you can find Togarashi in many different foods and on many restaurant tables throughout Japan.”
The Japanese term togarashi translates directly to hot, spicy and fragrant. This is the main definition of this Japanese style of cooking which is found in many dishes today.
Togarashi can be described as a blend of many spices, seeds, and other seasonings. It is also known as a mixed spice as well as chili powder.
Togarashi can also be used to describe a type of cuisine that one would use this spice for. The reason for this is that the term does not only refer to the spice mix but it also refers to the food that is being served with it.
This type of cuisine originated from the Satsuma region in southern Japan near the city of Kagoshima.
Togarashi has been around since at least 1650. The city of Kagoshima has been using it since then and it seems to have spread from there across Japan and into other parts of Asia as well.
The Satsuma region was forced to open its borders due to Western pressure after the end of World War Two. As a result, they began trading their spices and seasonings with China and other Asian countries, including Korea and Thailand.”
Togarashi is one of those ingredients that is not so much a spice as a flavor. It is not so much a mixture of spices as it is its own class of spice. It is often used in the West by people who do not know what it is, because they are looking for something hot, and since togarashi contains red pepper, they assume it is “hot”.
Togarashi is made from a mixture of seven spices: red chili pepper, dried orange peel, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, hemp seed, ginger root and seaweed. The chili pepper gives it the heat (which is sometimes overwhelming to Westerners), the orange peel gives it a citrusy aroma and flavor, the sesame seeds give it the nutty flavor and aroma, the seaweed gives it the fishiness (it contains lots of umami), and the ginger root gives it a sharp bite. The seventh ingredient, hemp seed (also called ashitaba) isn’t so important; it contributes little to taste or aroma. But hemp seed contains natural plant estrogen (phytoestrogen), which apparently makes women feel good when they eat togarashi and thus explains why togarashi is considered an aphrodisiac.”
Togarashi is a spice blend commonly used in Japan. It typically consists of ground chili peppers, ginger powder, sesame seeds, and seaweed. The word “togarashi” means pepper in Japanese. In the past, it has also been spelled as “togarashi,” “togarassi,” or “togarasoshi”; however, today the most common spelling is simply togarashi.
There are many recipes for togarashi, but the primary ingredients are chili peppers and either sesame seeds or ground sesame seed paste. Other ingredients can include ginger root, hemp seeds, mustard seed, orange peel, poppy seed, hemp oil, and dried orange peel. Depending on what region of Japan you’re in and how much heat you can handle, more or fewer chili peppers are used in the mix. Togarashi is not just a spice; it’s often added to salads and other foods as a flavoring agent rather than solely a seasoning.
Togarashi is most commonly used during the winter months in Japan as a way to combat colds as well as nasal congestion caused by seasonal changes. It’s also used as an appetizer before meals or when eating noodles or soups instead of soy sauce.