Today’s featured item from the spice drawer is a Japanese spice blend that may or may not be called ‘Nanami Togarashi’. This name doesn’t appear anywhere on this bottle, and similar blends from other brands have different names (another one I saw was called ‘Shichimi Togarashi‘, seems to have the same ingredients. Hm. Wait – Google to the rescue here.) Nanami Togarashi is generally made up of chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, japanese pepper (sansho – tastes almost lemon balmy), seaweed, etc.
This stuff is amazing, and I’m totally addicted to it.
In Japanese restaurants, they usually offer this to sprinkle on your soup. Once I discovered it, I started to put it on everything even remotely Japanese inspired. My favourite use is on stir fried udon noodles. As it is primarily made of chili pepper, it does add a bit of heat, so be careful when adding it to dishes. The inclusion of citrus and the almost citrusy tasting Sansho pepper give it a nice tang.
Nanami Togarashi isn’t available in most grocery stores, and can commonly be found in Japanese supermarkets and some pan-Asian supermarkets. I used to only be able to find the tiny bottles of it, and had even asked one of the grocers about whether I could order bigger bottles. At the time, it seemed that you couldn’t get it in any other size. On my most recent trip to Sanko, my favourite Japanese grocery store here in Toronto, I was pleased* to find not only a larger bottle, but also a large bag of Nanami Togarashi. I bought one of each.
Next time you see one of these cute little red bottles, give it a try!
*pleased = almost peed myself, I was so happy about the silly spices