5 Best Yuzu Shichimi Togarashi Substitutes

Yuzu shichimi togarashi is an important and popular spice in Japan and it is second to none. Little wonder many people mistake it for the Chinese five spices.

Shichimi togarashi is also known as the Japanese seven spices seasoning because it is made from seven different ingredients.

While having chili pepper as the base, yuzu (citrus) is another core ingredient that brings out the tangy flavor in shichimi togarashi. This hot mix gives whatever recipes it finds itself in some umami spicy yet tangy taste.

Recipes like Asian soups, noodles, and grilled meats are great representatives of shichimi togarashi.

So what if you don’t have this popular spice in your spice rack? What if you are looking forward to having a spicy dish for launch but cannot find yuzu shichimi togarashi?

There are great yuzu shichimi togarashi substitutes so read on to find out!


What can serve as substitutes for yuzu shichimi togarashi?

This hot mix seems irreplaceable because of the variety of ingredients that make up the spice. Although these ingredients would differ from brand to brand and or depending on what a household wants.

Yuzu shichimi has chili pepper as the base and other hot ingredients. So, it would require some hot and spicy ingredients as well to replace yuzu shichimi togarashi in whatever recipe you want to use it in.

And in case you are wondering the ingredients that makeup yuzu shichimi togarashi below are the necessary ingredients that make up for this top Japanese spice.

Ingredients for making shichimi togarashi

  1. Bansho chili pepper
  2. Black sesame seeds
  3. Japanese ginger
  4. Yuzu fruit
  5. Shisho Japanese basil
  6. Dried seaweed
  7. Sansho chili pepper

All these are the seven ingredients that make up the yuzu shichimi togarashi. And they would easily enhance the taste of your meal without having to add so many spices at a time.

With all these ingredients shouldn’t the taste of the spice be a bit odd? Well, let’s find out about the taste of shichimi togarashi.

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Taste of shichimi togarashi

Since yuzu shichimi togarashi is a huge combination of many hot ingredients and some citrusy taste to add to it, the taste would be more complex than most spices.

Apart from the pepper that anybody is likely to first encounter, yuzu is dried citrus that adds tanginess to the taste of shichimi togarashi. It is the tanginess that balances the other hot ingredients.

However, depending on the brand that makes the spices, there might be some kind of change in taste. A little change in the proportion of the ingredients can either reduce the tanginess or increase it.

More so, depending on what you want. You can choose to reduce whatever spice or increase it to suit your need. So, does this mean you can make yuzu togarashi yourself?

Yes, you can make yuzu shichimi togarashi by yourself with the listed ingredients very much available in the market you can get them and make the spice yourself.

However, you would have to learn how to make it. Do you wish to learn how to make yuzu shichimi togarashi? Read on to find out!

But first, let’s find out about the yuzu shichimi togarashi substitutes.

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Yuzu shichimi togarashi substitutes

1. Chili pepper

chili pepper

Since chili pepper is the actual ingredient that makes up shichimi togarashi, you can replace the intended spice-shichimi togarashi with chili pepper.

And although chili pepper does not contain half of the other ingredients that make up shichimi togarashi it would fit most of your meal. Grilled meat, fish, and other recipes would appear flavorful if you add chili pepper in the right proportion.

And yes, since chili pepper has this defined and simple it’s okay to add some other spices to enhance the taste of the spice.

You can add citrus peel; you can also add sesame or anori to make your recipe taste better. So chili pepper is a great substitute for yuzu shichimi togarashi.

2. Red pepper

red pepper

Red pepper is yet another outstanding replacement for yuzu shichimi togarashi. Red pepper is another ingredient that can easily enhance the taste of any recipe.

Red pepper is not as hot-spiced as shichimi togarashi and would not add any tanginess to it either. You would have to add a relatable amount of pepper.

However, you can spice up the taste by adding sesame, citrus peel, and any other ingredients that tickles your fancy. Ensure you do not add too much of any of the ingredients.

3.     Nanami togarashi

nanami togarashi

This might seem like the best substitute for yuzu shichimi togarashi because they bear almost the same name. However, Nanami togarashi has more citrus peels and this, in turn, heightens the tangy nature of the spice.

If you desire more of this in your recipe, then this is the best substitute for you. Nanami togarashi is very preferable for kinds of seafood.

And in case you cannot deal with the tangy nature, it is best you get it in small quantities and add some pepper for hotness. Or and, to achieve a more complex taste like yuzu shichimi togarashi.

4.  Dukkah


Another yuzu shichimi togarashi substitute is dukkah. Dukkah is not like other substitutes aforementioned because it contains sesame and hazelnut that gives it this nutty flavor.

You might as well add pepper and other ingredients you desire to enhance the taste of your recipe.

5.  Jalapeno pepper

jalapeno pepper

Japanese 7 spice is quite a hot mix and has chili pepper and other pepper as their basis. So, you can use different pepper a great replacement. Jalapeno pepper is a chili that is popularly used in Mexican cuisines.

But jalapeno pepper is not as spicy as the yuzu shichimi togarashi.

However, you have no cause to worry about because just like yuzu shichimi which requires other ingredients to make up for it, you can add the ingredients that suit you to make it spicy.

Other options

If at all you do not have the listed substitutes available, here is a quick way to get the best spice for your recipe.

  • Get ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • And ¼ teaspoon of black pepper

Have these ingredients ground and then add to your recipe, if you still want some tangy flavor to it, add a little citrus peel.

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How to make yuzu shichimi togarashi

If having yuzu shichimi togarashi is what you long to have on your spice rack then it’s time to find out how to make yuzu shichimi togarashi.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of Bansho chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of Japanese ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of dried citrus peel
  • 1 tablespoon of Shisho Japanese basil
  • ½ sheet of dried nori seaweed

You can adjust the ingredients depending on the size of your recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Chinese five-spice the same as yuzu shichimi togarashi?

Although many people mistake the Chinese five spices for yuzu shichimi togarashi, they are not the same.

Star anise and cloves make up the Chinese five spices while chili pepper is the ingredient that makes up yuzu shichimi togarashi.

So, Chinese five spices are not the same as the yuzu shichimi togarashi.

Can you make yuzu shichimi togarashi yourself?

As we said earlier in this guide, you can make yuzu shichimi togarashi yourself. You only have to get the right ingredients in the right proportion.

You can learn how to make this Japanese spice and have them in your spice rack to prevent running out of the spice.

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So now you know there are plenty of yuzu shichimi togarashi substitutes. You can try out these substitutes to see which one works for you.

And if you want to enhance the taste of the replacement you find fitting, you can add other ingredients to the substitutes.

Remember black pepper is not off the list. So do not limit your choice to only chili pepper. So we trust you would be able to get the recipe served without waiting for yuzu shichimi togarashi.

Have a great time trying out these substitutes for yuzu shichimi togarashi.