Shichimi Tougarashi - Japanese mixed spice
I like Asakusa and I visit there quite a few times every year. In Asakusa, there's a place that I never miss. Could it be the quite big Sensouji Temple? Or is Nakamise, the shopping area leading to the Temple? Well, yes, I visit these places too, but the place I like the best is Yagenbori, a Japanese spice shop selling high quality Shichimi Tougarashi 七味唐辛子.
Shichimi or Shichimi Tougarashi is mixed spices based on powdered chili pepper. Shichimi contains seven spices, like chili powder, sesame seeds, Sanshou (Japanese pepper) and a few other spices, 7 in all. And that is why it is named Shichimi = Seven flavors. Shichi means seven and mi here means flavor in English. Shichimi spices looks colorful and it makes food smell good with the spicy taste. Maybe you have seen a Shichimi bottle on a table in a Japanese restaurant, especially at Japanese Soba noodle shops.
The ratio of the 7 blended spices is not fixed and it differs from each shops. Some shops blend plenty of sesame seeds, while other shops blend plenty of Sanshou (Japanese spice). So each shop offers different tastes of Shichimi.
The reason why I like Yagenbori's Shichimi spice is that their blending is exactly to my taste. It contains a lot of Sanshou (Japanese spices) and it smells so good. Yagenbori's Shichimi is the best for me. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks so. In fact, Yagenbori is one of the most popular Shichimi brands in Japan and Yagenbori has more than 380 years of business history.
If you are interested in Japanese spices, don't miss Yagenbori. Yagenbori is a tiny shop on Shin-nakamise street. You don't know where the street is? OK, just ask someone on a street in Asakusa. Everybody living in Asakusa knows where Yagengori is.
Related Web sites
Yabenbori official site