What Is Togarashi Seasoning and How Do You Use It?

If you’ve never heard of togarashi, that might be because it is from Japan. While the word “togarashi” in Japanese refers to a specific type of chili pepper, it also refers to a spice mix that is prevalent throughout Japan. Just how prevalent? According to worldspice.com, “This blend is used throughout Japan as a table condiment, occupying much the same place that salt and pepper do in the American household.” The blend is also sometimes known as shichimi togarashi or simply shichimi.

So, what is shichimi togarashi seasoning? 

The exact ingredient mix is not codified, so there is a difference between brands, though chile peppers in some form always make an appearance. For example, World Spice’s version contains “Korean Chile, Orange, Poppy, Black Sesame, White Sesame, Paprika, Seaweed, Ginger.” On the other hand, Food52’s recipe calls for nori, tangerine zest, toasted sesame seeds, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic. And Spiceology’s version consists mainly of “Chili Pepper, White Sesame Seed, Orange Peel, Spices, Seaweed, Black Sesame Seed, Salt, [and] Lemon Juice Powder.”

Is togarashi spicy?

The answer is yes, togarashi is spicy. It’s not likely to burn your mouth if you’re a spice aficionado, but there is a definite heat. Of course, as noted, there are some differences between different versions of the blend, so some may be more heat intensive than others.

How do you use togarashi seasoning?

Shichimi togarashi can add a lot of flavor to just about anything. It’s great on noodles, soups, fish, poultry, and beef, but some people like to put it on their popcorn or pizza, burgers, or hot dogs, or really anywhere you might put hot sauce or another all-purpose condiment. 

However, if you’re looking for something that specifically highlights this distinctive spice blend, Tried And True Recipes has you covered with their Shrimp And Rice Noodles With Shichimi Togarashi. It calls for rice vermicelli, bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, onion, cabbage, sesame oil, shrimp, and of course, the spice itself.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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  • Thank you for the info on togarashi spice. I saw this word on a menu and had no idea what it was…Now…I do.