Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese 7 Spice Ingredients

Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese 7 Spice IngredientsShichimi Togarashi七味唐辛子 – means ‘seven spice blend,’ but it’s funny that if you break down those syllables a little you end up with Shi chi mi togarashi -しちみ とがらし – ‘scrubbing.’ Perhaps this tingly, spicy blend helps to scrub your innards? I don’t think so. I just found it an interesting aspect of Japanese.

This 7 spice blend is also known as nanairo tōgarashi七色唐辛子- ‘seven-color chili pepper.’

Nanami Togarashi is another version of this blend, simply containing a higher percentage of citrus.

The word togarashi in these names means ‘chili,’ also specifically the ground chili powder that is used within the blend, However, the general word togarashi can also refer to the blend as a whole. In other words, they don’t always use the extra words in the title. “Please pass the chili powder,” is the same as, “Please pass that blend containing chili powder.” Of course, it also goes by the simplified name Shichimi – ‘seasoning.’ “Pass the seasoning.” Aren’t linguistic nuances great?

Japanese 7 Spice dates back to the herb dealers of 17th century Edo, Japan. (Modern day Tokyo.) It’s spiciness and citrus is said to bring out out the simple, clean flavors of Japanese cooking. In modern times it is used most often on noodle dishes, over broiled eel (unagi), with grilled chicken (yakitori), or beef dishes. I highly suggest it for the garnishing tebasaki, (Japanese chicken wings,) or to season a tare sauce for tempura or gyōza dumplings. It is also used to season various rice products and crackers.

Though possible to find for purchase with other general herbs and spices, dried orange peel, specifically mandarin (Chenpi 陈皮) for this recipe, is very easy to make. Simply peel your citrus and mince the rind with a knife. Spread this on a dry sheet pan or piece of foil. Heat your oven to it’s lowest ‘warm’ setting, usually about 150-170°F, and add your sheet pan. After 10-15 minutes you can turn the oven off, and simply let the rinds continue to dry for another 20-30 minutes. Shuffle them once in a while for an even dry. You could also go the traditional route of letting them dry in the sun.

Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese 7 Spice

Shichimi Togarashi – Japanese 7 Spice

By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes: 1/3 cup of Seasoning


  • 2 T red chili flakes; gochugaru works well
  • 1 t ground sanshō (Japanese green pepper)
    • OR ground szechuan pepper
  • 1 T dried tangerine or orange peel (see notes above)
  • 1 t black sesame seeds
  • 1 t white sesame seeds
  • 1 t hemp hearts
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t poppy seeds
  • OPTIONAL ADDITION: 1/2 sheet of nori; chopped/ground


  1. Very simple: grind down the dried orange peel to smaller bits, if desired, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.

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