Author Notes: Togarashi, which translates as “Japanese chili pepper,” is commonly available as spice blends like shimi togarashi and nanami togarashi. Ramen shops usually have vial-like containers of them at the table, and they’re also easy to find at Japanese markets. Most recipes contain dried chilies, peppercorns, sesame seeds, and nori, as well as a number of variable items; the umami flavor of the nori is the standout. I keep a store-bought bottle on hand, but it’s just as easy to make it, and a fresh homemade batch showcases the citrus zest. It’s a wonderful thing for dishes that need a kick—I love it on avocado toast and hard-boiled eggs. Experiment with the zest; grapefruit is a great alternative to orange.
Text excerpted from BOWL © 2016 by Lukas Volger. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. —LukasVolger
Makes: about 1/4 cup
2-inch squares toasted nori
tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
teaspoons dried orange or tangerine zest
teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
teaspoon dried minced garlic
- Wave the nori square over the flame of a gas burner a few times, until the corners curl and they turn crisp, or roast under a broiler, flipping periodically. Break up into small pieces and add to a spice grinder or mortar along with half the sesame seeds, the citrus zest, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pulse or pound with a pestle until a coarse, dry mixture forms, then stir in the remaining sesame seeds. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the toragashi will keep for at least 1 month.