Shichimi - The Japanese 7 Spice

June 18, 2018

Shichimi translates to '7 flavours' in Japanese, and is one of the yakumi condiments. Interestingly enough, the 7 spices that is are in shichimi can various different spices. Usually the spices that are used for shichimi are:

  • coarsely ground red chilli pepper (the main ingredient)
  • ground sansho (Japanese pepper)
  • roasted orange peel (chenpi)
  • black sesame seeds
  • white sesame seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • ground ginger
  • aonori (seaweed)
  • poppy seeds

These are the most common spices used in shichimi. It depends on the companies recipe as to which 7 spices are used and in which amounts.

There are three big shichimi making companies in Japan. These three companies use chili, sansho and poppy seeds.

Back in 1625, Japanese shichimi makes were doctors and pharmacist. They treated these special mixes of spices as medicine. People in the past believed that shichimi worked as a remedy for a bad colds, and it was a great idea for people to take "medicine" while you are eating food but also shichimi added flavour to the food. 

Yawataya shichimi, they are one of the oldest shichimi maker in Japan, and they first started making shichimi in 1736 (282 years ago!). All the ingredients that are used to make their shichimi are all from Japan. In their shichimi, they use chili pepper, ginger, shiso, sansho, orange peel and sesame, hemp seed. Their shichimi is spicy and well flavoured. Shichimi is not just used for udon / tempura dishes, yawataya makes many flavoured Shichimi and you can use them for dishes like kara-age, salad, curry. They have some variations such as yuzu and ume plum flavour. You can get yawataya shichimi on our website, and if you never tried shichimi and some products from yawataya before, try these recipes!






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