Photo: Jules / CC BY 2.0

Shichimi Togarashi

A seven-flavored spice that pairs well with various dishes

Photo: Jules / CC BY 2.0
By Kim    - 2 min read

At restaurants in Japan you'll usually find a few staple seasonings on the table, and a common one is shichimi togarashi. The literal translation of this is "seven flavor chili pepper", and the spice blend contains a mix of ingredients that complement various dishes.

What does shichimi togarashi contain?

The (not so) secret spices in shichimi togarashi are:

  • ground red chili peppers
  • ground sansho (also known as Japanese pepper)
  • roasted orange peel (sometimes substituted out for yuzu peel)
  • sesame seeds (black, white, or both depending on the blend)
  • ground ginger
  • nori flakes (seaweed)
  • hemp seeds and poppy seeds
The spice blend has seven ingredients
The spice blend has seven ingredients (Photo: mxmstryo / CC BY 2.0)

Where to find shichimi togarashi

Within Japan, you'll find shichimi togarashi at just about every supermarket - it's a staple on store shelves. If you live abroad however, you can find shichimi online on Amazon, or check your nearest Asian grocery store. If you're in the US, the Mitsuwa chain of Japanese grocery stores is one good option - most of their branches are found in California, but there are also stores in Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, and New Jersey.

Many places outside Japan also sell shichimi togarashi - you can typically find it online or at Asian grocery stores
Many places outside Japan also sell shichimi togarashi - you can typically find it online or at Asian grocery stores (Photo: rahims / CC BY 2.0)

Making shichimi togarashi yourself

If you'd prefer to try and make shichimi togarashi yourself, there are various recipes online that guide you through the process. The individual ingredients may also be easier to obtain in some places than a pre-mixed blend. Simply search for "shichimi togarashi recipe" and you'll find various sources.

What to pair shichimi togarashi with

Shichimi togarashi works well with a wide variety of dishes. It's extremely popular on gyudon bowls (beef over rice), and you'll see it on tables at nationwide gyudon chains like Sukiya and Yoshinoya. It's also a popular addition to sprinkle over bowls of ramen or soup, and is sometimes used as seasoning for products like rice cakes and crackers.

A jar of shichimi togarashi hiding behind the pickled ginger at a Sukiya store
A jar of shichimi togarashi hiding behind the pickled ginger at a Sukiya store (Photo: Public Domain)

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Sleiman Azizi 3 weeks ago
Elizabeth S 2 weeks ago
Gyudon with a good helping of pickled ginger and a few shakes of togarashi is one of my favorite hot breakfasts in the world.