Me and Shichimi

I call my brand new (see what I did there with the word brand?) burn, burny. Working on frying chicken pieces for bentos today I thought I had one piece of chicken on the fork. I had two and the second piece jumped into the pan splashing hot oil everywhere. Everywhere included my forearm. I am thinking of having the burns tattooed as a reminder and because the pattern is interesting.

Chicken and bits of my arm successfully fried, I went to make shichimi seasoning. Depending upon where you look, who you talk to, and how much patience for the interwebs you can find many different translations for shichimi, names, and best of all ingredient lists. Shichimi or shichimi togarashi is a seven ingredient seasoning or seven spice mix. Even my Japanese cookbooks are in disagreement on the actual ingredients and translation.

Because this amused me, after all the interwebs are infallible I am going to show you the top four recipes:

Shichimi 1

  • 1/2 sheet nori *
  • 1 tbsp granulated orange peel
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp flaky salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Shichimi 2

  • 2 tsp white toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp nori
  • 3 tsp dried tangerine peel
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted poppy seeds

Shichimi 3

  • 2 tbsp sansho or 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp dried tangerine peel
  • 1 tbsp red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp nori
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Shichimi 4

  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp dried tangerine or orange peel
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp nori

I stopped writing down ingredient list after shichimi 4. Each one of the recipes above has sesame seeds, nori, and tangerine or orange peel in common beyond that, they disagree and the disagreements are where the flavor changes for me. There is a difference between red chili flakes, chili powder, and cayenne. There is a difference between ginger and garlic and a difference between garlic powder and minced garlic. I make mention of this because each recipe involved using a spice grinder. Small differences, but to me important.

I would have been okay with four different recipes if any of them had indicated that the recipe was a regional variation, homemade variation, complete fantasy, or anything other than “Official,” usually followed by some story involving a Japanese relative, trip, restaurant, or distant memory.

I should mention that I have not made any of the above shichimi recipes yet. When there is that much disagreement, I tend to do more research. When I do find a shichimi recipe that I like I will let you know. Off to work on a bento beet recipe. 🙂




One thought on “Me and Shichimi

  1. Pingback: Spongebob, Shichimi, and Me Redux | Speaking Out on Life

Take Part in the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s