Chowhounds are crazy about the Japanese seven-spice blend shichimi togarashi, an all-purpose seasoning that generally contains chile, sansho (a spice with a flavor like Sichuan peppercorn), dried tangerine peel, seaweed, ginger, and sesame seeds, and can also include mustard, poppy, or hemp seeds. "Like hot sauce, it is a condiment used to add spice to food, usually at the table," says paulj. It's frequently used to perk up noodle soups such as ramen, stir-fries, and hot rice.
"Try it as an ingredient in a creamy salad dressing that includes some crushed peanuts," suggests todao. gordeaux likes it in tuna salad with mayonnaise and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. "It can really make tuna poke that much better," says rabaja.
Hounds also love shichimi togarashi for seasoning snacks like popcorn. don515 warms potato chips on a baking sheet in the oven to bring their oils to the surface, then sprinkles the spice blend on. Others like it sprinkled on sliced watermelon or mango. "And David Chang's toasted Rice Krispies with togarashi [a topping in this Brussels sprouts recipe from the Momofuku chef] are like crack," raves soypower.
"Shichimi works well with dark chocolate," says zinFAN. "Sounds weird, but it accents the bitterness so your ganache isn't cloying. Try sprinkling some over a dark chocolate cupcake and see if it suits your taste."
Discuss: Uses for Shichimi Togarashi?