So I have a little confession… After simplifying my spice collection a few years ago, I’ve fallen off the simplicity wagon, so to speak.
Yep a quick look in my spice box and you’ll see all sorts of things in there.
But it’s not all bad news.
A few months ago my Irishman, Fergal and I were having breakkie at Barrio, one of our fave cafes in Canberra. My Irishman ordered the Togarashi on Toast and was quickly raving about it.
Which reminded me. Did’t I have some Shicimi Togarashi, in my collection.
When we got home I delved into my trusty spice box and there it was. We immediately started experimenting and fell in love. Actually truth be told my Irishman fell even more in love than me so I got him a huge bag for his birthday a few months ago.
What is Shicimi Togarashi?
It’s a spicy Japanese spice blend usually used as a sprinkle to season food instead of salt and pepper.
The ingredients can vary but my favourite one from Herbies Spices in Sydney lists the following ingredients: sea salt, chilli, white poppy seeds, golden and black sesame seeds, orange peel, mustard, sichuan pepper and lemon myrtle.
6 Tasty Ideas for Shicimi Togarashi
1. With avocado.
The obvious is on avo toast but basically anywhere avocado goes, Shicimi Togarashi will work. Think salads or even a Japanese take on guacamole.
2. With Eggs.
Poached, scrambled or fried or even on an omelette, a little sprinkling of Shicimi Togarashi instead of black pepper will really bring your eggs to life.
3. On Chicken.
Roast or pan fry any cut of chicken and serve with lashings of Shicimi Togarashi.
4. With Fish and Seafood.
Again, I prefer to sprinkle on after cooking so you keep all the vibrant fresh flavours. Or better yet serve with finely sliced sashimi or sushi.
5. With Red Meat.
See the recipe below for a stir fry idea but it’s also a great way to jazz up a grilled steak or lamb chop.
6. With Nuts.
One of my Irishmnan’s favourite salty snacks at the moment is to toss some with roasted peanuts. Super tasty!
Substitutes for Shicimi Togarashi
You could try making your own by mixing some chilli powder with sesame seeds and a little orange zest. But really chilli powder or flakes on their own with a little sea salt will do. It just won’t have the fragrance and depth of flavour.
Shichimi Togarashi Beef
Since Finbar was born we’ve been having a stir fry renaissance around here because they tick the key boxes of quick, healthy and tasty. So of course I couldn’t resist experimenting with my new fave spice in stir fry form!
Minced or ground beef is my first choice because it’s so quick to cook but this will work with plenty of other protein sources… See the variations below for ideas.
Enough for: 2
Takes: 15 minutes
2 bunches bok choy, chopped
450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons shichimi togarashi, + extra to serve
1. Heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan and cook bok choy, stirring frequently until just wilted but still crunchy. Remove from the wok / pan and pop in a clean bowl.
2. Heat a little more oil on a very high heat and cook beef, again stirring frequently until browned and no longer pink.
3. Return bok choy to the pan. Add soy sauce and stir well. Taste and add more soy if needed, remembering the togarashi will also add some salt.
4. To serve divide between two bowls and sprinkle over shichimi togarashi. Serve extra togarashi on the side.
different protein – chicken thighs or breast, steak, beef strips, pork, white fish fillets, squid or prawns (shrimp).
vegan – stir fry bok choy (with extra veg if you like) and serve with chunks of avocado and togarashi on top plus a few handfuls cashews or other nuts for extra protein.
vegetarian – serve bok choy and togarashi with fried or poached eggs on top. Or cook an omelette in the wok and serve that.
soy-free – use fish sauce or coconut aminos instead. Oyster sauce will also work.
no togarashi? – oh no! It’s worth ordering some online or heading to a spice specialist or Japanese grocery. But failing all that just use a little dried chilli.
more flavour – add some finely chopped garlic and/or ginger to the beef.
more substantial/ carb lovers – serve with steamed rice or your fave cooked noodles. You could also serve with chunks of avocado or do as my Irishman does and sprinkle over some roasted cashews.
more veg – add you fave chopped stir fry veg to the bok choy like carrot, snow peas, red bell peppers (capsicum), zucchini, broccoli, or Chinese broccoli.