Shichimiya Shichimi Togarashi: 7 Spice Blend from Kyoto
The other day, I obtained a “Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子)” that the historical city Kyoto boasts.
Shichimi Togarashi, also simply called just “Shichimi (七味)”, is a traditional Japanese condiment consisting of coarsely ground red chili pepper and other 6 aromatic spices that vary depending on the producer.
It is a spice mix widely used in Japan where the majority of households 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. Actually, in Japan, it is generally known 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 package 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 again with a refill.
Once I opened the yellow bag for Shichimi Togarashi, the aromatic smell of Sansho pepper wafted out in the air.
The above are Shichimi Togarashi spice mixes sold by “Yagenbori (やげん堀)” in Asakusa, Tokyo, and “Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎)” in Nagano, each of which is also known as one of Japan’s 3 Best Shichimi Togarashi, together with that of Kyoto Shichimiya.
Compared to them, this Shichimiya’s 7 spice blend is dark brown in color. As I mentioned above, this is because the composition of Shichimi Togarashi depends on the producer, but that results in each Shichimi Togarashi having its own distinctive features.
7 Ingredients (Spices)
By the way, according to the ingredient list on the back of the yellow package, the Shichimi Togarashi from Kyoto Shichimiya consists of red chili pepper, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, Sansho pepper, Ao-Nori (green seaweed), green Shiso (perilla) leaves, and hemp seeds.
In general, Shichimi Togarashi is somewhat spicy and has a mild heat, but this Shichimiya’s Shichimi isn’t hot at all. Instead, it is excellent in smell compared to others and is especially characterized by the nice aroma of Sansho pepper.
Taking that into consideration, I think the Shichimiya’s Shichimi Togarashi matches especially well with lightly flavored dishes (Miso soup, Udon and Soba noodle soups, Tsukemono pickles, simmered dishes, or the like).