Shichimiya Shichimi Togarashi : Kyoto’s Famous 7 Spice Blend
The other day, I obtained a “Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子)” that the historical city Kyoto boasts.
Shichimi Togarashi, simply called “Shichimi (七味)”, is a traditional Japanese condiment consisting of coarsely ground red chili pepper as its first ingredient and 6 other aromatic spices that vary depending on the producer.
It is a common spice mix widely used around the country and in fact many households in Japan have at least one canned or bottled Shichimi Togarashi.
In Japan, there are many food companies and specialized shops producing Shichimi Togarashi, and when it comes to Kyoto’s Shichimi, Kuro Shichimi and Shichimiya Honpo’s Shichimi Togarashi are especially famous.
Kyoto Shichimiya Honpo Shichimi Togarashi
This time I got the latter spice blend, Shichimiya’s Shichimi Togarashi, and used it for the first time in my life. It is generally known in Japan that the Shichimi Togarashi blended by Kyoto Shichimiya Honpo (Google Map) is one of Japan’s 3 best Shichimi Togarashi.
The product I purchased this time was made up of a bag of Shichimi Togarashi and a small can for the spice mix, so even if you use up the accompanying spice, you can use the container with a refill again.
Once I opened the yellow bag for Shichimi Togarashi, the aromatic smell of Sansho pepper spread in the air.
The above are Shichimi Togarashi spices sold by Asakusa Yagenbori and Nagano Yawataya Isogoro, each of which is known as one of the Japan’s 3 best Shichimi Togarashi, together with that of Kyoto Shichimiya.
Compared to the 2 Shichimi Togarashi, this Shichimiya’s spice mix is dark brown in color. As I wrote above, this is because the spice composition in Shichimi Togarashi depends on the producer, but that results in each Shichimi Togarashi having its own distinctive features.
7 Ingredients (Spices)
According to the ingredient list on the back of the yellow bag, this Shichimi Togarashi from Kyoto Shichimiya consists of red chili pepper, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, Sansho, green laver (Nori seaweed), green Shiso leaves, and hemp seeds.
Although Shichimi Togarashi is somewhat spicy in general, this Shichimiya’s Shichimi isn’t spicy at all. But instead, it is excellent in smell compared to others, especially the aroma of Sansho pepper.
Since its aromatic smell is pleasant and delicate, I think the Shichimiya’s Shichimi Togarashi matches especially well with lightly flavored dishes (Miso soup, Udon and Soba, pickles, simmered dishes and so on).