The 5 Best Japanese 7 Spice Substitutes

What Is Japanese 7 Spice?

Japanese 7 spice is called “shichimi togarashi” in Japanese.
It’s mainly made from cayenne pepper. In addition to that, it contains various types of spices that gives amazing flavor. For instance, Japanese sansho pepper, dried citrus peel, ginger, etc.

Please check the details of 7 spice here:
What Is Japanese 7 Spice and How Is It Used?

Good Substitutes for 7 Spice

I think you can find Japanese 7 spice (shichimi togarashi) at Japanese or some Asian grocery stores. But, what if you can’t find any of it?

Don’t worry, there are several good substitutes for it.

1. Chili Pepper

It is made from only dried red pepper. Unlike 7 spice, it simply consists of only pungent ingredients. As you know, you feel a direct spiciness, so you may want to add some refreshing ingredient, for instance, some citrus peel.

Moreover, it would be also great to add sesame, shiso, or aonori as you like. In that way, it’ll get closer to 7 spice.

There are powder and rough types of chili pepper, so use them properly according to the purpose.

2. Red Pepper

It is made from both dried red pepper and roasted red pepper. Therefore, not only the spiciness but also the fragrant aroma is added by roasting.

As with chili pepper, you would feel the spiciness directly if you use it as a condiment. In other words, you may want to add some citrus peel and sesame to upgrade the flavor of this substitute.

3. Jalapeno Pepper

This must be also a familiar ingredient for you. It is a chili pepper often used in Mexican food.
This isn’t very spicy, but you would feel the spiciness to some extent. So, it’s recommended to add few slices of jalapeno pepper as a substitute for 7 spice.

The unique flavor of jalapeno pepper matches so well with Mexican food. But, it may not match some Japanese food. Please check the taste after putting a small amount of it.

4. Yuzu Kosho (Yuzu Pepper)

Yuzu kosho is made by maturing the mixture of rough-cut chili peppers, the skin of yuzu, and salt. It’s normally made from unripe green yuzu and green chilies.
Japanese people use it as a condiment. For example, they put a little bit of yuzu kosho on tempura, meat dishes (such as grilled chicken), and sashimi.

Although it’s not so spicy, it gives you subtle pungent taste. Most importantly, it can add extremely nice, refreshing flavor of yuzu to dishes.

5. Doubanjiang

It’s made from broad beans, soy, rice, soybean oil, sesame oil, salt, and red pepper.
This is often used when making Chinese food. Additionally, it may be added if you want a little spiciness when eating food.

It contains salt unlike (1)-(3). In other words, you should be careful not putting too much of it, otherwise the dish will be too salty.

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