Togarashi is one of those spices that the Blue Apron chefs turn to time and time again. It’s the not-so-secret-ingredient that makes recipes like our Togarashi Popcorn Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice with Togarashi Peanuts into unforgettable dinners. If this beloved Japanese spice blend isn’t a staple in your pantry yet, keep reading. We’ll show you how to cook with togarashi, and why you should love it.
What is togarashi?
Togarashi is the Japanese word for Capsicum, which is a broad term defining all chili pepper-bearing plants. When we talk about togarashi in cooking, we’re most often referring to a spice blend made up of seven ingredients, including dried, pulverized red peppers. It can also be referred to as shichimi togarashi, or nanairo togarashi.
As with many spice blends, the exact recipe for togarashi can vary. No two brands or cooks will use the exact same ingredients. A typical togarashi spice blend includes:
- coarsely ground red chili pepper
- orange or yuzu peel
- sesame seeds
- hemp seeds
- poppy seeds
These ingredients come together to form a wonderfully complex spice blend. Although it has some heat, it’s not just about making meals spicy. This blend brings a subtle smokiness and citrusy zing to the table, along with mild heat. In addition to the delicious flavor, the seeds in a togarashi spice blend create a delightfully crunchy texture that can be a welcome addition to soft foods like noodles or rice.
How to cook with togarashi
You’ll often see togarashi used as a condiment. You can sprinkle it over any finished dish to add a touch of heat, citrus, and crunch. This flavorful spice pairs well with light meats, like chicken or fish, grains, and noodles. For a real treat, try stirring a spoonful into mayonnaise to make a delicious topping for proteins or a decadent dip for french fries.
Recipes with togarashi
Try this at home! Blue Apron’s togarashi spice blend would be a delicious addition to your pantry.