Togarashi Senbei with Yawataya Isogoro’s Shichimi Spice
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese spice mix invented by a druggist who lived in Edo (present-day Tokyo) about 400 years ago.
Made from ground red chili pepper and other six aromatic spices, the seven-spice blend is widely known as an essential condiment for udon and soba noodle soups.
Other than the usage for Udon and Soba, we Japanese use Shichimi Togarashi in various ways. For example, many people like to eat miso soup and grilled chicken skewers “Yakitori (焼き鳥)” with the condiment.
Shichimi Togarashi works well with various foods, and in Japan, the seven-spice blend is used even as a flavoring for snack foods, as seen in what I purchased this time.
Togarashi Senbei from Echigo Seika
Recently, I bought the “Togarashi Senbei (とうがらし煎餅)” using Yawataya-Isogoro’s Shichimi Togarashi shown in the picture 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 Nagano City.
The shop specializes in Shichimi Togarashi, and its 7 spice blend has about 300 years of history, known as one of Japan’s 3 Best Shichimi Togarashi.
This product consists of 7 pieces of individually packed Senbei, and in the bag, you can see Shichimi’s tiny red flakes.
Although Senbei rice crackers mostly have a brown color that comes from their main flavoring, soy sauce, this one is tinted with orange due to Shichimi Togarashi.
Despite that, this Togarashi Senbei only has mild heat. It is rather aromatic and more flavorful than ordinary Senbei.
This is mainly because Shichimi Togarashi itself is characterized by a slight spiciness and pleasantly aromatic scent, which is why the spice can make what it touches flavorful and a little bit spicy.
I have Yawataya Isogoro’s canned Shichimi Togarashi now, so I put additional Shichimi on the Senbei and enjoyed it.
Lastly, according to the ingredient list on the back of the package, the Togarashi Senbei from Echigo Seika consists of non-glutinous Uruchi rice, soy sauce, chili seasoning, vegetable 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 acid seasoning, colors (Monascus, carotenoid), and acidifiers.