Skip to Content

The 4 Best Substitutes for Shichimi Togarashi

Have you ever tried shichimi togarashi? It’s a Japanese spice mix that includes red pepper, seven other spices, and nori (seaweed).

The flavor is unique and intense, and it’s amazing on everything from grilled meats to noodles.

This spice mix originated in the 17th century, and it’s still popular in Japan today.

When you visit Japan, you’ll see shichimi togarashi on the table in many restaurants.

It’s also becoming more popular in the United States, as people are discovering its versatility and flavor.

Due to its popularity, shichimi togarashi is now widely available in supermarkets.

However, it can be expensive, so some great substitutes will give you similar results if you’re on a budget.

Here are five of the best substitutes for shichimi togarashi.

So get ready to liven up your meals with some delicious heat.

What is Shichimi Togarashi?

what is shichimi togarashi

Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that typically includes chili peppers, orange peel, Sichuan pepper, seaweed, and ginger.

The name Shichimi Togarashi means “seven flavor chili pepper.

” This refers to the spice blend containing seven different flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and spicy.

While the exact ingredients can vary depending on the region or cook, these seven flavors are considered essential to the blend.

The spice is often used as a finishing spice, sprinkled on dishes like ramen or soba noodles for a burst of flavor.

It can also be used in marinades and rubs for meats or vegetables.

While it may be unfamiliar to some, Shichimi Togarashi is a versatile spice that can add depth and heat to any dish.

Start with a small amount and add more to the taste.

The exact blend of spices in shichimi togarashi can vary, so feel free to experiment until you find a blend.

With its complex flavor and versatility, shichimi togarashi is a great way to add a little extra something to your cooking.

The 4 Best Substitutes for Shichimi Togarashi

For those who can’t find shichimi togarashi or don’t have it on hand, a few good substitutes will give your dish a similar flavor profile.

1. Combination of Salt and Chili Powder

combination of salt and chili powder

Who would have thought that salt and chili powder could be a winning combination? Certainly not me, but I’m glad I gave it a try.

The first time I tried this combination was on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

The salt helps to bring out the flavor of the chili powder, while the chili powder adds a bit of heat to the dish.

This is a great way to add flavor to any dish, and it’s also very easy to do.

Sprinkle some salt and chili powder on your food, and you’re good to go.

When substituting salt and chili powder for Shichimi Togarashi, it’s important to keep the ratio of salt to chili powder in mind.

I would recommend using about equal parts salt and chili powder.

This will ensure that the dish has enough flavor without being too salty or spicy.

If you’re looking for a bit of extra heat, you can always add more chili powder to the dish.

2. Furikake


Anyone who has ever been to a Japanese restaurant has probably seen furikake on the table.

This seasoning mix is traditionally made from a blend of dried fish, sesame seeds, and seaweed, and it is used as a topping for rice.

Furikake can also be used in various other dishes, such as soup, salad, and stir-fry.

While it may seem like a simple seasoning, furikake has a long history dating back to the Edo period.

During this time, the Shogunate imposed a salt monopoly, making salt an expensive commodity.

To stretch their salt supplies, Japanese households began using furikake to add flavor to the rice.

Today, furikake is still a popular seasoning in Japan, and it is available in a wide variety of flavors.

While furikake may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when thinking of Shichimi Togarashi, it makes a great substitute.

Furikake has a similar flavor profile to Shichimi Togarashi, with a salty, umami taste.

It is also similar in texture, with a slightly crunchy texture from the sesame seeds.

The main difference between furikake and Shichimi Togarashi is that furikake does not contain chili peppers.

This means that it will not add any heat to your dish.

If you are looking for a little bit of heat, you can always add a sprinkle of chili pepper flakes to your furikake.

3. A Mix of Salt, Sesame Seeds, and Chili Flakes

a mix of salt sesame seeds and chili flakes

A popular condiment in many parts of the world, this mix of salt, sesame seeds, and chili flakes is a simple yet versatile way to add flavor to any dish.

The salt provides a perfect backdrop for the nutty flavor of the sesame seeds, while the chili flakes add a touch of heat.

Whether you sprinkle it on grilled vegetables or use it as a seasoning for chicken or fish, this flavorful blend will enhance any meal.

And best of all, it’s easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

Compared to Shichimi Togarashi, this mix is much milder in flavor.

The sesame seeds provide a similar nutty flavor, but the lack of other spices makes them much less complex.

This will be a good choice if you look for something with a simpler flavor profile.

4. Ichimi Togarashi

ichimi togarashi

Pronounced “ee-chee-mee toe-gah-rah-shee,” this Japanese chili pepper powder is made from chili peppers, orange peel, rice bran, seaweed, and sesame seeds.

It’s often used as a finishing touch for ramen or soba noodles, but it can also add a bit of spice to grilled meats or veggies.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use it in desserts.

Ichimi togarashi has a complex flavor that is both spicy and slightly sweet, with a hint of citrus from the orange peel.

It’s the perfect way to add extra zing to your meal.

Compared to shichimi togarashi, ichimi togarashi is spicier and has a more intense flavor.

If you’re looking for a substitute that will give your dish a similar flavor profile, ichimi togarashi is good.

Just be careful not to use too much, as it can easily overpower other flavors.


Just like with any ingredient, there may be times when you find yourself without shichimi togarashi.

Luckily, there are a few common pantry staples that make great substitutes.

Depending on what you’re making, any substitutes can work well in a pinch.

With a little experimentation, you should be able to find a shichimi togarashi.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 4 Best Substitutes for Shichimi Togarashi

The 4 Best Substitutes for Shichimi Togarashi
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Combination of Salt and Chili Powder
  • Furikake
  • A Mix of Salt, Sesame Seeds, and Chili Flakes
  • Ichimi Togarashi


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
    Skip to Recipe