Yuzu Shichimi: Traditional Japanese Citrus Spice Blend
When it comes to traditional Japanese spice, “Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子)”, also simply called “Shichimi (七味)”, has been widely used in Japan through the ages.
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese spice blend consisting of 7 aromatic spices. Its first ingredient is ground red chili pepper and the other 6 spices vary depending on the producer.
We Japanese use the spice mix sprinkling over various foods as a condiment or seasoning, typically over Udon and Soba noodle soups, Miso soup, Gyudon beef bowl, and pickles.
Since Shichimi Togarashi is a little spicy and flavorful, the addition of the spice mix can make food appetizing.
Although the main ingredient in Shichimi Togarashi is traditionally ground red chili pepper, there is also a popular variety of Shichimi in Japan whose first ingredient is dried citrus peel.
Yuzu Shichimi (柚子七味)
The Shichimi Togarashi blended with citrus peel is called “Yuzu Shichimi (柚子七味)”, for the spice mix uses the peel of the citrus fruit called “Yuzu (柚子)” as the first ingredient.
As you can see in the photo above, Yuzu looks like an orange, but the Japanese citrus fruit isn’t sweet and is characterized by its intense sourness and good fragrance.
By the way, as a reference, the Yuzu Shichimi I purchased this time contains 50 % Yuzu citrus peel in it. Hence, compared to normal Shichimi Togarashi, the citrus Shichimi is much more floral in aroma.
According to the ingredient list, the first ingredient of this Yuzu Shichimi is Yuzu citrus peel, the second is a red chili pepper, and the other 5 spices are black sesame seed, hemp seed, poppy seed, green laver (seaweed), and Sansho pepper.
Although Yuzu Shichimi is more fragrant than regular Shichimi Togarashi, the basic way to use the citrus Shichimi is not much different from that of regular Shichimi.
Therefore, you can basically use Yuzu Shichimi in the same way as usual Shichimi Togarashi.