What is Ito Togarashi?
Togarashi (とうがらし/唐辛子) is the Japanese word for chili pepper whose representative varieties include Taka no Tsume (鷹の爪: eagle talon), Shima Togarashi (島唐辛子: island chili pepper), jalapeno, and habanero.
Meanwhile, Ito (糸) means thread in Japanese. So Ito Togarashi (糸唐辛子) is chili pepper thread.
Have you ever seen a bowl of ramen like this topped with superfine strands of dried red chili peppers? The red thread-like garnish is Ito Togarashi, also known as Itokiri Togarashi (糸切り唐辛子).
Ito Togarashi (糸唐辛子)
Ito Togarashi is a shredded red chili pepper like a thread, usually made using a not-that-spicy variety whose placenta is removed, for the spiciness and heat of chili peppers mainly come from that part.
The chili pepper thread is used not only in Japanese cuisine but also in Chinese and Korean dishes. And in Korea, the red topping is called Silgochu.
Because of its brilliant red color, Ito Togarashi is generally used as a point decoration in the dish, making it more tempting/appetizing.
The red chili thread matches well with dishes ranging from ramen, udon, and pasta to pickles, soup, and simmered dishes.
Where to Buy
Ito Togarashi is an inexpensive ingredient. Here in Japan, it is available at many supermarkets and 100-yen shops.
(Reference Page: Chili Chili Magazine )