Togarashi Senbei with Yawataya Isogoro’s Shichimi Spice
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese 7 spice blend that was created by a druggist who lived in Edo (present-day Tokyo) about 400 years ago. Widely known as an essential condiment for Udon and buckwheat Soba noodle soups, the spice mix consists of ground red chili pepper and other 6 aromatic spices.
Other than the usage for Udon and Soba, we Japanese use Shichimi Togarashi in various ways. For example, many Japanese like to eat miso soup and grilled chicken skewers “Yakitori (焼き鳥)” with the spice mix.
In fact, Shichimi Togarashi works well with various foods, shown by the fact that Japanese Shichimi addicts sprinkle the spice blend over almost any food, and in Japan, Shichimi Togarashi is also sometimes used as a flavoring for snack foods, like what I purchased this time.
Togarashi Senbei from Echigo Seika
This time, I bought the “Togarashi Senbei (とうがらし煎餅)” using Yawataya-Isogoro’s Shichimi Togarashi shown in the photo above, which is produced and sold by “Echigo Seika (越後製菓)” Confectionery.
For the unfamiliar, “Yawataya Isogoro (八幡屋礒五郎)” (Google Map) is a long-established spice shop located in the city of Nagano that specializes in Shichimi Togarashi. Its 7 spice blend has about 300 years of history and is known as one of Japan’s 3 best Shichimi Togarashi brands.
The product I purchased contains 7 round pieces of individually packed Senbei and you can see Shichimi’s tiny red flakes in the plastic bag. Although Japanese Senbei rice crackers mostly have a brown color that comes from their main flavoring soy sauce, the color of this Senbei is orange rather than brown due to Shichimi Togarashi.
Despite that, this Togarashi Senbei is only a little spicy, rather aromatic and flavorful compared to ordinary Senbei. This is mainly because Shichimi Togarashi itself is characterized by a slight spiciness and pleasantly aromatic scent, and helps make foods flavorful and a little bit spicy.
Since I have Yawataya Isogoro’s canned Shichimi Togarashi at home now, I put additional Shichimi on the Senbei and enjoyed it!
Lastly, according to the ingredient list on the back of the package, this Togarashi Senbei from Echigo Seika consists of non-glutinous Uruchi rice, soy sauce, chili seasoning, vegetable fat and oil, sugar, powdered chicken extract, red chili pepper, Shichimi Togarashi (red chili pepper, dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, Shiso, Sansho, ginger), bonito, amino acids, colors (Monascus, carotenoid), and acidifiers.