Japanese Spice: Ichimi Togarashi vs. Shichimi Togarashi
Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子) and Ichimi Togarashi (一味唐辛子), also called just Shichimi and Ichimi, are both traditional Japanese spice condiments.
As for the degree of recognition, I think the former spice mix is known better to overseas people because Shichimi is an essential condiment for Soba and Udon noodle soups.
Ichimi Togarashi vs. Shichimi (Nanami)
As you can guess from the names, Ichimi Togarashi is a spice condiment similar to Shichimi, also known as Nanami Togarashi.
But how do they differ in ingredients, taste, and usage?
The term included in both, Togarashi (唐辛子), refers to red chili pepper here, while the Kanji characters Ichi (一) and Shichi (七) respectively have the meaning of One and Seven.
Since the rest word Mi (味) means Flavor or Taste in Japanese, Ichimi Togarashi has just one flavor (taste), that is, the one that comes from ground red chili peppers.
Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子)
On the other hand, Shichimi Togarashi has seven flavors, made from ground red chili pepper and other six aromatic spices.
The six varieties of spice other than the first ingredient, red chili pepper, vary depending on the maker.
But Shichimi typically includes Sansho pepper, Chinpi (dried orange peel), poppy seeds, hemp seeds, shiso (perilla) leaves, Ao-Nori (green seaweed), black sesame seeds, and ginger.
Ichimi Togarashi (一味唐辛子)
In general, Ichimi is hotter than Shichimi Togarashi. But the spiciness of red chili pepper used in them differs by elements like the place of production and the production method.
Since Shichimi is a blend of ground red chili pepper and other six spices, it is generally more flavorful than Ichimi, consisting solely of red chili pepper flakes.
In a nutshell, each product has a different degree of heat and composition and has its own distinctive taste profile.
You can use Shichimi and Ichimi the same way as Furikake rice seasoning; sprinkle on food as much as you like.
Ichimi Togarashi is spicy-hot rather than flavorful and works well on various dishes, including pizza, Mapo tofu, sauteed vegetables, and curry.
In contrast, Shichimi pairs perfectly with foods in Japanese cuisines, such as Udon and Soba noodles, Tsukemono pickles, Yakitori chicken skewers, Gyudon beef bowl, and miso soup.
For further information on the usage of Shichimi Togarashi, this article will help.