Homemade Shichimi Togarashi- Japanese Seven Spice Powder Recipe

 Until pretty recently, I only knew of three types Japanese foods- miso soup, sushi, and beef negimaki. But, on my quest to figure out something different with all my fennel/anise that I bought cheaply, in season, I discovered Japanese 7 Spice Powder-Shichimi Togarashi- such a unique and different mix of flavors that I never, in my wildest dreams, would think of mixing. Honestly, until I tried it, couldn't imagine it "working", but seriously, its really good.

I like having as little food waste as possible (why else would I come up with a recipe for banana peel chutney or watermelon rind salad?) and this recipe fits right in with "my type" of cooking; it uses something that people would generally otherwise throw out or compost- tangerine or clementine peel. (You could also use orange peel for this, but I prefer not to because it means cutting off the bitter pith.)

Japanese seven spice powder has many different variations to it- this is one I came up with based on a bunch of different ones I read on the internet. Its great in stir fries together with soy sauce, on meat and chicken, in crackers, and apparently in soups, but I havent tried that out.

Homemade Shichimi Togarashi- Japanese Seven Spice Powder Recipe

1.5 cups of tangerine or clementine peel
2-3 sheets of nori (seaweed used in sushi making)
2-4 tablespoons sesame seeds, black or white or a mix
1/2 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes (to taste; this will be spicy)

1. If you're not using organic tangerines or clementines, scrub the peels very well to remove any pesticides. Then, dehydrate your peels or stick them in the oven on a low setting until they're roasted; just be careful they don't burn.

2. When your citrus peels are crispy, stick them in your coffee grinder and grind up. Set aside.

Stir fry made with fennel, carrots, chicken,
soy sauce, and shichimi togarashi
3. Take your nori sheets and cut them in to small peices, and then stick them in your coffee grinder. (If you don't cut them up, its likely the blades of the grinder will just whir around doing nothing.) Grind until you get a pretty fine powder.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients; mix well.

Use in your authentic Japanese dishes, or figure out some new ways to use it!

Have you ever had, heard of, or cooked with Shichimi Togarashi? What did you think of it?
Does this combination of flavors- nori, tangerine, and poppy seeds also seem as weird to you as it did to me at first?
Do you think you'd try this out?
Do you cook with your tangerine or orange peels, or just toss or compost them?

Linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Allergy Free Wednesday

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Dear Penny, thanks for all your legwork! I want to try the Togarashi Popcorn recipe (Bon Appetit magazine, Oct 2011, posted on Epicurious in suggested Oscar party recipies. Could you be a little more specific about the quantity of peel? For example, is this after chopping up the clementine or tangerine peels (to fit into a measuring cup) but before drying and grinding? Or is that the final result of ground peels? An actual number whole fruit peels would be helpful. Thanks again.

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