Togarashi vs. Shichimi vs. Furikake vs. Wasabi

Togarashi (唐辛子), Shichimi (七味), Furikake (ふりかけ), and Wasabi (わさび) are all very familiar foods to us Japanese, and they usually refer to a different thing, though the first two are close.

Togarashi and Shichimi may bother you, but some overseas people also seem confused about the difference between Togarashi vs. Furikake and Togarashi vs. Wasabi.

Togarashi vs. Shichimi vs. Furikake vs. Wasabi

So in this article, I will give an overview of each, Togarashi, Shichimi, Furikake, and Wasabi, and clarify the difference.

First of all, let me explain what Togarashi is.

Togarashi (唐辛子)


Togarashi is the Japanese generic name for any chili pepper, including Taka no Tsume (鷹の爪), Shima Togarashi (島唐辛子: island chili pepper), Shishito (ししとう), jalapeno, and habanero.

When Japanese people hear the word, many will probably picture raw unprocessed Taka no Tsume representing Japanese chili peppers. Togarashi is the main ingredient of Shichimi (a.k.a Nanami) & Ichimi (一味).

Shichimi (七味)

Shichimi Togarashi

Next, Shichimi is the abbreviation for Shichimi Togarashi (七味唐辛子), whose first ingredient is finely ground red chili pepper, as its name includes Togarashi.

Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese condiment consisting of red chili peppers and six other aromatic spices. Since the literal meaning of 七味 is seven-taste, Shichimi is a seven-spice blend.

The composition of Shichimi varies depending on the maker. But it typically contains Sansho, Chinpi (dried orange peel), poppy seeds, hemp seeds, Shiso (perilla), Aonori (green seaweed), sesame seeds, or ginger, in addition to Togarashi.

Udon Noodle Soup with Yuzu Shichimi Togarashi

Although, as with Furikake, Shichimi comes in flakes, and we use them by sprinkling, this one is generally not meant for rice but for dishes such as Udon, Soba, Miso Ramen, Miso soup, and Gyudon

Shichimi Togarashi makes what it touches a little spicy and flavorful, and some Japanese are addicted to it; Surprisingly, they even use it for ice cream.

Furikake (ふりかけ)

Natto Furikake Rice Seasoning

Unlike Shichimi Togarashi, Furikake is a rice seasoning consisting of dry mini flakes or granules processed from various ingredients such as meat, egg, seafood, and seaweed.

Although the main aim of Furikake is to make a warm bowl of white rice tasty (by sprinkling it on top), some people also use it for various dishes, including pasta, Yaki Udon, and salad.

Shichimi Togarashi usually has a reddish or orange color, whereas the appearance of Furikake varies according to its composition.

Wasabi (わさび)

Sushi with Wasabi

Unlike Togarashi, Shichimi, or Furikake, Wasabi usually comes in paste form. わさび/山葵 is the Japanese word for horseradish, and we prepare it by grating the roots of Japanese horseradish.

The one using Japanese horseradish has a green hue, typically used for dishes using raw fish such as Sushi and Sashimi, for the condiment is refreshing and pungent and can remove the fishy smell.

As seen in the picture, we often combine Wasabi with soy sauce, and we generally call the seasoning mixture Wasabi Shoyu (わさび醤油).

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 唐辛子, 七味唐辛子, ふりかけ, ワサビ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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