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Old 07-10-2018, 07:31 PM   #1
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My Newest Addiction

I hope this is the appropriate forum for this post. It could easily go into spice blends, but it’s not really a rub or marinade, in and of itself, and it could be inserted into int’l foods, as its origin is Japan.

Anyone familiar with Japanese cuisine knows that it isn’t inherently spicy. While the flavor profiles can be quite complex, they are usually delicately spiced and rely more on umami than searing heat. If you go for udon though, you’ll generally find a little wooden bowl with a tiny little wooden spoon, filled with a red-orange powder and black specks. It’s shichimi togarashi, translated as seven taste pepper. Made primarily from ground red chili pepper, with the addition, of either the numbing Szechuan peppercorn or its Japanese cousin sansho, ground dried orange or yuzu peel, black and white sesame seeds, ground nori, and I forget the other two tastes, it is the traditional accompaniment to udon. And the reason the spoon in that little wooden bowl is so tiny is because it is spicy. Very spicy. I’ve never seen it served with any other food in Japan, although you can buy shichimi rice crackers which are popular.

When added to udon, shichimi (as it’s commonly referred to), is intensely hot, and you notice it immediately, especially if you add too much like I did the first time I tried it. But it seems that the heat is activated and perhaps even exacerbated by the hot liquid.

I added some that I had saved from a takeout udon order today to my surimi salad the other day though, and the spiciness of this blend was very slow to make its presence known, and it started in the back of the throat rather than right up front on the tongue and palate. It also exhibited more of the other flavors in the blend than it seems to do when added to hot liquid. I really got that hint of citrus, the sweet nuttiness of the sesame, and the umami of the nori coming through the heat of the chili peppers. And I found that I could use quite a bit more of it than the 1/8 of a teaspoon those teensy little wooden spoons provide.

I’m addicted. Now pretty much anything that I want to give a nuanced kick to gets a dose of shichimi togarashi. Give it a try if you haven’t already! You can find it in Asian markets or on-line, and I’ve recently spotted it in the Asian foods aisle at our local supermarket. But be very careful at first, especially if it’s hot liquid your giving that kick to!

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Old 07-10-2018, 07:40 PM   #2
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I like Szechuan pepper so anything that adds a kick is ok by me..I'll try and find it next time I hit the stores..
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:07 PM   #3
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Vmy daughter spent time in Japan years ago, she cooks Japanese all the time. Her panko chicken is amazing and okinomaki is one of my faves. I've bought the Korean BBQ sauce and Japanese Mayo. I'll ask her about your new love.

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Old 07-10-2018, 08:46 PM   #4
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Vmy daughter spent time in Japan years ago, she cooks Japanese all the time. Her panko chicken is amazing and okinomaki is one of my faves. I've bought the Korean BBQ sauce and Japanese Mayo. I'll ask her about your new love.

Russ
Oh my, okonomiyaki! I think I’ve got some mix at home,and some sauce and Kewpie and nori and katsuobushi. I’ll have to stop and get eggs though. That sounds sooooooo good right now! Real comfort food!
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:50 PM   #5
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I like Szechuan pepper so anything that adds a kick is ok by me..I'll try and find it next time I hit the stores..
There are quite a few brands if you shop on-line, but I think the most common you’ll find on the shelves looks like this


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Old 07-10-2018, 10:43 PM   #6
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Oh my, okonomiyaki! I think I’ve got some mix at home,and some sauce and Kewpie and nori and katsuobushi. I’ll have to stop and get eggs though. That sounds sooooooo good right now! Real comfort food!
Rats! Bought the eggs, forgot cabbage! Guess the okonomiyaki will have to wait til tomorrow night. Tortilla pizza or surimi salad tonight, I guess. Or maybe both. And a chocolate milkshake. Definitely a chocolate milkshake.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:47 AM   #7
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There are quite a few brands if you shop on-line, but I think the most common you’ll find on the shelves looks like this

Attachment 30620
We buy it in large bags at the Asian markets locally. My wife just got some shiso seeds. It did well last year for us.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:12 AM   #8
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We buy it in large bags at the Asian markets locally. My wife just got some shiso seeds. It did well last year for us.
We grew shiso when we lived in Michigan, where it did very well. It’s such a bright flavor that can turn plain white rice into a meal. Alas, it doesn’t do well here in the desert, and is not very available in the Asian markets in the area; the closest thing I’ve found is the Korean version of it, perilla, which is just not quite the same. I wonder why it’s not more popular here in the states?
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:35 AM   #9
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There's a local okonomiyaki joint we go to from time to time. Their picture menu is extensive, over 20+ pages.

I do have some takoyaki mix sitting in the pantry....haven't used my cast iron takoyaki griddle in a long while.

I love shichimi, and use it on a lot of things. And also Ra-Yu chili oil, especially with gyoza...
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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First time I used it in a noodle shop I almost put to much. I was thinking nothing in Japan is spicy then this stuff. Nothing in the middle. But yes it is good.
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