Yagenbori : I got the spice known as the origin of Shichimi Togarashi

When it comes to the spice condiment that represents Japan, what pops into my head right away is Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子) (Amazon.com).

As the Japanese spice is commonly used as a condiment for Udon and Soba noodle soups, you may have eaten it. Yes, Shichimi Togarashi is the Japanese seven spice blend that consists of ground red chili pepper and other six aromatic spices.

The Birthplace of Shichimi Togarashi

As for the origin of Shichimi Togarashi, the 7 spice blend was invented in 1626 by a druggist that lived in Edo (present-day Tokyo), named Nakajima Tokuuemon (中島徳右衛門). It is said that, based on the knowledge of herbal medicines, he created it.

The originator of Shichimi Togarashi started a business in 1625 and he invented the 7 spice blend the next year.

Now his spice shop, Yagenbori (やげん堀) (Google Map) is located in Asakusa, Tokyo, and its 7 spice blend is famous as one of the Japan’s 3 best Shichimi Togarashi, together with those of Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎) in Nagano and Shichimiya Honpo (七味屋本舗) in Kyoto.

Since Shichimi Togarashi has its roots in the spice blend of Yagenbori, Shichimi Togarashi is also called Yagenbori.

I got a Yagenbori Shichimi Togarashi Spice Mix

Actually, today I came across a Shichimi Togarashi spice mix from Yagenbori by accident at a newly opened supermarket in my city, so I picked up the seven spice blend and its refill.

This spice mix features having an excellent harmony between spicy favors and aromas in addition to aromatic spices themselves.

As I like eating Miso soup with Shichimi Togarashi, I added this spice condiment to the soup and enjoyed it.

The ingredients

According to the ingredient list on the package of the refill , this spice mix contains,

  1. Red chili pepper
  2. Roasted red chili pepper
  3. Black sesame seeds
  4. Dried Satsuma mandarin orange peel
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Poppy seeds
  7. Dried sea lettuce

The difference between Yagenbori Shichimi Togarashi and Yawataya Isogoro’s one

I also have a seven spice blend from Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎) at home, which, as I wrote above, is also famous as one of the Japan’s 3 best Shichimi Togarashi.

As you can see from the above, compared to the Yawataya spice, the Yagenbori spice has a blackish color that comes from black sesame seeds and so on. By the way, the spice mix of Yawataya Isogoro is made up of the following 7 spices,

  1. Red chili pepper,
  2. Ginger
  3. Sansho pepper
  4. Shiso (Perilla)
  5. Sesame seeds
  6. Dried citrus peel
  7. Hemp seeds.

As for the distinctive feature of the Yawataya spice, the Nagano’s famous Shichimi Togarashi is characterized by a ginger flavor and relatively strong spiciness.

Related Products
Yawataya Isogoro Shichimi Togarashi, 14g [ 2 Packs ] S&B Nanami ( shichimi ) Togarashi Assorted Chili Pepper 0.52 Oz
Amazon.com Amazon.com


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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