About Yagenbori Shichimi-Togarashi
It was in 1625 that the spice merchant Tokuemon set up shop on the banks of the Yagenbori Canal in the Ryogoku district of Edo. Taking a tip from the many herbalists and apothecaries who plied their trade in the area, he created a new blend of spices that was not only tasty, but also healthful. Tokuemon called his blend shichimi-togarashi (seven-flavored capsicum), and it gained such popularity with the citizens of Edo that the Yagenbori name became synonymous with the seven-flavored spice itself. In fact, Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun, was so enamored of the spice that he granted all succeeding generations of Yagenbori spice masters permission to use the character “徳” (toku) in their name, a tradition that lives on with the current tenth-generation spice master, Tokuaki.
Yagenbori shichimi-togarashi is still blended by hand according to the recipe developed by Tokuemon four centuries ago. It contains aromatic black sesame seeds, aried unshu mandarin orange peels, premium-grade fresh and roasted capsicum (red pepper), powdered Japanese sansho pepper, poppy seeds, and hemp seeds.
True to its heritage, Yagenbori shichimi-togarashi is both delicious and healthful. The freshi and roasted capsicum helps break down cholesterol, improves circulation, and stimulates the appetite, and the black sesame is rich in linoleic acid.
Today, Yagenbori carries on the traditions of its founder, and also offers custom blends to suit an increasingly varied clientele. Whether you choose one of our traditional blends or create one of your own, we guarantee your complete satisfaction.
How to Enjoy Yagenbori Shichimi-Togarashi
Although best known as a seasoning for soba and udon noodles, Yagenbori shichimi-togarashi also adds a zestful accent to tsukemono pickled vegetables, miso soup, and grilled meats and fish, which are delightfully complemented by the rich, nutty flavor of sesame and the unique aroma of Japanese sansho pepper. It can also be used in Japanese-style nabe stews, ‘rice bowl’ dishes, stir-fries and other fried foods, or any lightly sweetened dish.
At Yagenbori, we offer a variety of different blends. Our original Medium-Hot Blend is preferred by many, but we also have an extra-spicy Hot Blend and an extremely mild Aromatic Blend. In addition, we offer regular ground red pepper and, for eels and tempura, powdered Japanese sansho pepper. Other popular Yagenbori specialties include lightly sweetened tsukudani (Japanese-style vegetable and soy sauce chutneys), and savory seaweed and sesame seed furikake (rice topping).
Care and Handling
Members of the capsicum family of peppers are extremely sensitive to temperature and moisture. To protect the full flavor and aroma of your Yagenbori spices, we recommend that you keep only a small amount handy for daily use, and store the remainder in its foil package in a refrigerator or freezer.