444: Shichimi Togarashi
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05
And I'm Matthew.
And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11
And today we're talking about shichimi togarashi.
I just got out of the shower about a half hour ago. And in the shower
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:18
you exfoliated using a bag of CTV toga dosh
no but while I was in there, I was trying to I was realizing it had been a while since I had said shichimi togarashi like out loud because I say it in my head, I'll
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:33
read to yourself.
And so as I was in the shower, I was like she meat like it's a little tricky for my native English speaking tongue to get the like, right after each other she to me, right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:47
She totally. Okay, you got it. All right. So we should we should probably explain what this is. Because I think some people probably some of our listeners probably grew up with it, or are very familiar with it. And some have no idea what we're talking about. So let's go down memory lane.
Yeah. Well, hold on. Wait a minute. You see what this stuff is? And then we'll go down memory lane. And can you give like a brief summary of what this stuff is?
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:14
It's a it's a flavorful spice blend made for sprinkling on ready to eat foods. It's a Japanese ingredient. And we are both very fond of it.
I have often seen people refer to it just as togarashi.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:28
Yeah. togarashi is the Japanese word for like a chili pepper. Oh, so that's one ingredient like shichimi togarashi always has dried red chili in it. And shichimi means seven flavors. So it usually has seven ingredients total. The only one that's absolutely required is the crushed red jelly.
So you could say either what what do what do the native Japanese speakers that you know so
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:54
either either shichimi togarashi is like the whole long name or just Shi t me Everyone will know what that is togarashi all by itself means means like a chili pepper, so necessarily indicate this ingredient.
All right, cool. Okay, let's go down memory lane me My nose is itchy. Maybe
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:11
because I've been sniffing this spicy spice blend.
I'm gonna go first place. So I think I remember encountering this. Honestly, I think I remember encountering this for the first time in like a restaurant in Brooklyn. Yeah, that makes sense. Which, you know, because I think that this has been kind of trendy for a
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:29
little while. Yeah, I think.
So anyway, that's where I first encountered it. But then my memory lane began to be truly paved. Before that it was just a dirt memory lane. Because, you know, the roads in Brooklyn are just, they're just dirt roads.
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:47
They're old dumb, like horse paths. And yeah, you know, all the Brooklyn hipsters. They ride their horses and carriages while they're there, waxing their mustaches and making their artists in mayo. Yep, that is for Brooklyn stereotypes. Okay, great. But I
feel like those are kind of Brooklyn stereotypes from like, 2009 I haven't received a fresh influx of Brooklyn stereotypes lately. So I'm not sure why I'm not sure. Like I was about to say something about mason jars. But mason jars are extremely like 2008 or nine.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:23
I know maybe even seven, seven. Maybe Brooklyn is just gotten like boring, which is fine.
Okay, anyway, so in 2017 you and I went to Tokyo together Matthew you remember this it was in October we went for like vaguely
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:38
remember this it rained a lot
it rained a lot but I don't remember that like being a deterrent out at all. And anyway, one of the things we did all of our all of our you know, wandering around was it was generally informed by trying to get to some restaurant or food shop or whatever.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:00
Anyway, and most of it was done under umbrellas.
Yes. And you took me to this spice shop in asaka which was the neighborhood in Tokyo where we stayed the first night and we went there they do they specialize in shichimi
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:17
Yes. Oh boy are we gonna talk a lot about this shop
and you could either buy they're like ready made mix, or you could have them like blend it for you using these like beautiful as I recall like enameled kind of vessels that they kept all the separate components in and they would spoon it all into like a big bowl together.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:40
Yeah, and like stir it up and and then put it into a bag for it and they had one of those those plastic bags sealers that are so cool.
That was like really a really fun outing for me even though I felt extremely bewildered by like you seemed quite confident about like, I want this much hemp seed and this much dried Mandarin peel and this God,
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:00
whatever it was all you do,
and I was pretty much like I think I want the pre packaged one.
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:06
I don't know if you summed up like my personality in a single word, it would be bluster. Yeah, probably,
oh my god, there
is this little like dispenser that they sell because I think a lot of our listeners will be familiar with the dispenser. It's usually like a little metal little metal cylinder that has a cap, and the cap twists and there's a little hole and you line up the cap with the hole and then you pour your shichimi togarashi from the hole.
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:36
Yes. And in fact, we encountered that canister even before we went to the store because the first night we arrived in Tokyo, we went to yakitori place for dinner and had grilled chicken and that canister was sitting on the counter.
Would you give that place a shout out because that place was my hands down favorite yakitori thus far in life?
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:54
Um, I'm getting ready. Hey, okay. I didn't even share that. It was it was literally like it was not a place I'd heard of. I just like got on Google Maps. It was like what's in the nearby yakitori place? It was great.
Oh my gosh, it was so good.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:07
Yeah, so we got like a sampler of various grilled chicken parts and vegetables on sticks. And this yaghan body brand shichimi togarashi was sitting in the little metal canister on the on the counter. And I was like, Oh, this is the spice shop. We're gonna go to
Oh, nice. I did not remember that.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:23
Yeah, no, I just remembered it like this morning and added it to the agenda.
I was. So looking forward to today. Today taping today's episode. I was really looking forward to taping today's episode because I've been feeling a fresh wave of like pandemic grief. Yeah, like sadness for all the summer plans that would have been. And so I feel like I'm kind of getting to like travel in my memory through this episode. Math. I know. I hope our listeners will feel that they get to travel with us.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:53
I hope we can go back to Japan someday. Okay, so shichimi togarashi. It's a spice blend that's designed for sprinkling on food and you can cook with it. But that's not really its primary use. I know what you mean, when you say like it became a trendy ingredient. It was one of these things I like don't know, like, what's the right way to describe this process? Exactly. But it's this thing where white chefs become enamored with a particular international ingredient. And the messaging is like, you don't have to use this in the way that they use it. Originally in this culture, you can put it on anything, which is true, but also kind of like skips the whole like, you know, these are the delicious things that you do with this ingredient in its original context. Well, yeah, I
mean, it implies that that what the original context was doing with it was not interesting enough.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:46
Right. Exactly. Or that? Yeah, that and like, you know that, that I'm like a chef that's already become jaded. Like, you know, I've had all the Japanese food that I need to have, like, let's talk about something else for a change. And I bought this.
This is the epitome of the tone of bone appetit for the past 10 years. Like it was this like, you think you know how to do something?
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:09
No, you don't
know how to do it. Anyway, so yes, she
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:15
was that was that bone appetit? I think.
I can't remember. Yeah. Anyway, but But yeah, so let's talk about what shichimi is, in its original context and how people use it. Yeah, throughout Japan,
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:28
I learned so much about the history of shichimi togarashi. Over the last couple of days, I spent a lot of time on the yaghan body website, yoga and body is the brand of shichimi toga the store that we went to and like a brand.
I don't think I ever knew the name of it. Is that what my canister says? It does?
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:45
Yes. yaghan body, which is the name Well, we'll get to what the name means. I don't know if you Molly are gonna find any of this this historical context interesting, but I had so much fun researching it and didn't know any of this. Okay, so bring it on. So shichimi togarashi it's, it's a spice blend, usually with seven ingredients. And it has a long history in Japan. And one thing I didn't know is that for centuries, it has been associated with temples and it particularly like you're coming from your hometown, you go to Tokyo or another city, you go to the big temple there. And one of the most important parts of Japanese culture is when you go on a trip, you bring back a gift for people back home, your co workers, your family, your friends, and that the gift has to be something that is like proof that you went on this journey like you know a local food from the place that you visited. And in particular, you know, you go to Tokyo you go to Osaka you go to the big temple there sensoji and this is one of the key things that you bring back as a gift. Ah, that has been the case since the 17th century. So chili pepper first let's start with like, you know this this is based on on chili peppers, which came to Japan via the Portuguese in the 16th century, and By 1625 people were making spice blends based on chilies because like any word chilies show up. People love them because they're delicious. And so it
was fast though, that they started making it into blends, right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:13
Yeah, so I think probably like spice blends had had predated the arrival of chili peppers. But as soon as chili pepper showed up, were like, hey, people were like, hey, let's try adding this to a spice blend. I bet that's gonna be good, right?
Yeah, that seems right.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:27
So in 1625 during the con a Adda era Oh boy. That spice virgin called Tokyo a mon on the banks of the yaghan body canal which is near what is now Nihonbashi if you know Tokyo geography at all. Okay, started selling a spice blend based on tried red pepper. And it was so popular that the name yaghan body became associated with the spice blend itself. So like, you know, I'm going up to Tokyo. I'll bring you back some Eoghan body that name became the brand name and the name of the store.
Wait a minute. Wait, what would that what would that that? So are you saying that this the store that still exists? The lineage it comes from is like the lineage of the original shichimi. makers? Yes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:17
According to the gift given to you like if you buy their corporate history from the stores website, then yes. Is that really like the whole truth? I doubt it.
I love that you have based this history on the corporate website,
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:32
partly also on Japanese Wikipedia. Okay. Okay. All right. So all right. So I don't like any of the like in Japan, like even more so like, then then a lot of other places. Like if you are a store with a venerable history, you want to make sure that that history is is as like, esteemed and lengthy as possible. So if you can find any link to anything from like, you know, 1400 you are going to splash that all over your website. We've got probably always like some truth to it. Yes.
We've got to rewrite our company history on the spilled milk website.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:06
That is so true. Okay. What is our Well, I mean, your dad invented altoids in the 18th century, right?
Yeah, he also didn't
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:14
he Well, he was also an N dive man is also an N dive man. And I probably goes back even further than that.
Yes, I mean, back to some root cellar, right. Well, yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:22
I think I mean, n dive. It's like, this is our n dive episode. You've just you've just fallen into some sort of time for tax. Like n dive they blanch it by like, like mounting dirt around it right?
Yeah. But wasn't it that some guy had some chicory roots in his root cellar and one of them sprouted in the dark and it was a n dive.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:42
Yeah, that guy was your dad. Proud. He's brought it in the dark. That was how you came to be you sprouted in a darkroom?
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:53
Yeah. Should our show have like, like a trumped up corporate history? Or should it have like a like a folktale history?
Oh, this is a really good question. I mean, the folktale history wouldn't involve any like magic. Why?
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:06
I mean, I just suggested that you sprouted like from a plant in a root cellar, so I'm gonna say yes.
Okay. All right, then I think we should go with like the folk history. Yeah. Can
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:17
I think that
it should involve a river or a canal? You're not just a birth canal? Not
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:25
not just a birth canal. Oh, wow. Okay, so
Okay, go on go.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:30
The shop that we went to open in in 1948 in that location, so postwar, but meanwhile, in Kyoto and Nagano, other shichimi shops popped up near famous temples there, and I was not able to, like confirm this theory. But my guess is that what happened was, people from those cities were going to Tokyo, bringing back shichimi togarashi from the famous shop near the temple there. And people who own shops near temples in Kyoto and Naga were like, well, we need to be selling our own spice blend, we need to get in on this. And so in Kyoto, there's shichimi Ah, that's the famous shichimi togarashi shop in Kyoto. And it's located near Kiyomizudera which is one of the big temples in keota
does shichimi Yeah, does that mean shichimi shop?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:18
Yeah, totally does. And it started out as a shop called kawachi in the 17th century, but they after they became known for their shichimi togarashi they rebranded as shichimi in 1816 Okay, and according to the corporate history on that website, they got their start selling mustard water. I could not figure out what was going on with mustard water as far as I can tell it is mustard seeds steeped in hot water and like consumed as a hot beverage.
Okay, is that something that is still sold there?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:51
The mustard water?
Unknown Speaker 14:52
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:53
I don't think so. But I'm not sure if you have been to Kiyomizudera and Kyoto, which I know some If not many of our listeners have and you've been to this shop that's on the corner like the approach to the temple. Was there mustard water? I wanted to okay, but I try like googling around for mustard water like you know, Google image search came up with pretty much nothing except this website. So I don't think there's still mustard water. But I don't know. You also mentioned here that the Kyoto style of shichimi is considered the mildest in flavor. Oh, yeah. And we'll go into like the specifics of the three different shops and how they concoct their own version.
Am I correct? That is food in Kyoto in general considered to be like, less spicy? I mean, I know Japanese food in general is not as spicy as some other cuisines.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:43
Yeah. Kyoto who has the reputation of being mild. Okay, subtle. Cool. Okay, so that's we've talked about the two two of the three big shichimi togarashi. Let's talk about the third one, which is associated with the Xin Koji temple in Nagano. The shop there is called yo wa t it is so good. Oh, and that's, that's it. That's the three big shichimi togarashi shops.
This is so fascinating to me. So wait a minute, the one that we went to in Tokyo the yogin bought a one. That is that is like the most famous Yeah. shichimi shop in Tokyo.
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:18
Yeah, in probably in Japan as a whole.
That's so it's so interesting to me that neither time we went in there. I mean, it's in one of those like covered malls, right, like a covered arcade, like the sun mall and Nakano. Yeah, anyone is
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:32
what it is called Shin Shin Naka music.
Okay. Oh, Naka. Mi, se is a is like a shopping street.
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:38
It's specifically a shopping street. Like that leads up to a temple.
Okay. Anyway, um, so it's so interesting to me that that shopping street was bustling, as you can imagine. I mean, it leads to this massive and famous temple. But we never had to like wait in the store and the store is tiny, the store probably hold like a maximum of eight people all crowded together. So it's so interesting to me that it could be that famous and yet people walk by it all the time. And nobody thinks twice.
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:12
I know. That is that is interesting. They do have other locations, including other locations in the neighborhood. But that's the original. So yeah, it's not like it's not like the original Starbucks where there's always a line.
Yeah. I mean, I think there should be a line outside it. But I'm glad
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:28
there is. Probably at some times there is I don't know,
is there a certain holiday that you would give someone spices for? Or is it like more just like I visited this temple and brought you back this
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:42
special? I think it's mostly the latter, but I cannot say for sure that there isn't a holiday that would be associated with this as a as a gift.
Okay, maybe some of our listeners now. Yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:52
Can I keep going? Cuz I did. So I learned so much.
I don't mean to slow you down, keep
Matthew Amster-Burton 17:58
No, no, no, please interrupt as much as you want. Because I don't really even want to listen to myself do this
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:06
Alright, so each of these three major shops has its own style. And we'll get into some specifics on that when we talk about like, what are the actual ingredients besides red chili? Most of the shichimi sold in Japan and outside is big national brands like house foods and SNB so like that the house foods shichimi jar is is very recognizable. It's like a small glass, tall, cylindrical glass jar. And when you open it, it has like one big hole for dispensing it rather than a bunch of holes.
And I think it has an orange lid or Greenland. Greenland is like for a cocktail or something. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:43
I think I think the orange lid is that is that shichimi
when I was telling June this morning, what we were going to be taping, she was like is that is that the green powder or the red powder? Of course, of course of photocopy and shichimi you know going together, we often pull them out at the same meal anyway, but I was like the red stuff.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:08
Yes. And I we were originally thinking of doing a photocopy and shichimi episode in one but I learned so much at CTV that I was like, this is gonna be a total episode. We'll do footage hockey later. Cool. All right. Molly was just sitting in her closet sniffing a jar of shichimi togarashi. It looks it looks like the most drugged out thing.
It's such a likeness. I mean, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:31
I can't say it's like nostalgic for me because I am a person who has been to Tokyo twice and went the first time in my late 30s. But it makes me feel very nostalgic for being there.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:46
Yeah, no, I know what you mean. I think I think it's fair to call that nostalgia.
Okay. All right, go on.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:51
The national brands seem to lean kind of toward the Tokyo style. And we'll get into like what makes the Tokyo style this Tokyo style. Actually, we'll get into it now. Because if you go to the Japanese Wikipedia page I think maybe I'll like send Abby a screenshot of this because the chart I found so satisfying there is a chart showing which ingredients appear in which of the three big shops shichimi togarashi so now we can reveal the truth all three of them include red chili flakes, ground sansho which is which is green Sichuan peppercorns and is a popular seasoning especially for el in Japan but used for a lot of different things. hemp seeds and black sesame seeds so that's an
even know what hemp seeds tastes like
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:34
so in the in your shichimi togarashi they're they're the biggest thing they don't put in a ton of them but there's like some pretty big seeds in there. probably see
any in mine.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:44
Okay, shoot me I've got in here is the stuff I bought this year is also possible that that the hemp seeds don't go into the dispenser because they wouldn't fit out through the hole. I think they're probably in there.
Well, but I bought a little packet and empty it into my dispense.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:59
Oh, right. Right. Okay. Yeah, no, they're definitely hemp seeds in. Bless you. It's because you're, you're sniffing Joey,
I need to blow my nose.
Go Okay. All right. So hemp seeds.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:21
Okay, so that's one of the grades all of them. So yaghan body in Tokyo adds to the four that I said so far, toasted red chili, so there's untoasted and toasted dried red chili, tangerine peel, and poppy seeds.
I'm going to look and see if I noticed the poppy seeds. And like for me,
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:37
I thought tangerine peel was going to turn out to be like a key ingredient cuz that's like one of the flavors that I really associate with shichimi togarashi but it's not in all of
it. That is it's like not my favorite part of it. Sometimes I feel like I can really identify the tangerine pail and I'm like not not that into it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:55
Okay, I really like it. To me, that's that's what sets it apart from like another chili powder. As you'll see, so you might be more interested in the Kyoto style in Kyoto, there's ad shiso white sesame and naughty flex. Oh,
I think I would be super super into that. Let's
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:13
would love that. Let's go.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:15
Okay. Let's you've never taken the Shinkansen right,
Matthew, I have only been I have only been to Tokyo and like roughly like, I don't think I've ever even left Tokyo because like mount to cow is in Tokyo. Right? Yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:31
Okay, so next time we'll go to go to Kyoto got Osaka. We'll go to Kyoto. We'll go to shichimi I will get some Kyoto style shichimi
me real ly No wonder less.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:42
We can do this someday. Okay, he's so good. Oh, in Nagano. They add shiso tangerine peel and ginger. Okay, and one thing about to know about shichimi It's a salt free seasoning blend. So if if you are a salt sensitive person for any reason, you can use this
although I suppose if you're really salt sensitive, the nori in the Kyoto version has a little sodium.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:05
Yeah, you're right.
I think I think that's part of why I'd be really into it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:09
Yeah, no, that does sound good. I some of these are available on eBay. Like I didn't check to see if the Kyoto one specifically was but I might look into it.
Do we have any listeners
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:18
in Chiodo? Let's find out if contacted spelled knock podcast comm if you're hearing what you're asking, like if we have listeners who are just gonna like send us stuff. I
wonder if they would send us stuff. I mean, I will Venmo them.
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:31
Okay, all right. Yeah, yeah, if you're if you're a listener in Kyoto and and you would be up for an exchange get in touch contact. It's filled up podcast calm. Thanks. Okay, so Molly and I, as we mentioned, we went to yaghan body the one in Tokyo and we talked about like, what it's like they they've got the the dishes of the seven ingredients behind the counter. And sometimes I will customize mine not because I have any problem with the basic one. It's like you buy it in packets and like mild, medium or hot and the medium is the most popular. I like hot I mean I like all of them but I will usually choose the hot but sometimes I will ask to customize it just because it's fun to customize your own spice bled right I know
it's so satisfying watching them like scoop up the you know the various components and put them in the bowl and it's very satisfying.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:20
Yes. So let's talk about what we put it on.
Okay, so um, action I most frequently hands down put this stuff on. So if we are if we have nothing else in the house to eat, we always have some sort of rice. Yeah, and we always have eggs. So we will fry an egg put it on top of rice take whatever vegetable we've got lying around right now I've got like some sauteed turnip greens. Oh, that sounds great. Yeah, from my CSA, and I love putting a little bit of of salts like a nice kind of crunchy salt on my Friday and then shichimi on the Friday and the rice Oh, that sounds fantastic. Yeah. I also I also add a drizzle of soy sauce to the rice because I am a child and I love soy sauce on rice.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:09
I mean, could you could you like at least convince me that you're putting the soy sauce on the egg and it's running on to the rice? No, I
don't want it on the egg. Yeah, I want just the regular salt on the egg. This this is this is like me.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:22
No, no, this is this is like, like an etiquette thing that like in Japan, you're taught not to do and yet people do do that. Most of those people children probably.
Yeah, no. I mean, I get that rice on its own is delicious. But I just I also love the flavor of rice with soy sauce. Kill me. Sue me, as we used to say one of your kids. So sue me.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:45
This is what you said when you were kids.
Oh, no. And actually, when we are kids, if I said I love the flavor of soy sauce on rice, why don't you marry it? Yes, that's what you would have said.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:56
Yes. Oh, man, that was such a sick burn when we were kids. That was sick. Sick burns hadn't even been invented yet. And that
was already so sick. I know. Okay, anyway, the other face.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:07
We talked about this before, right? Is this a thing in Oklahoma also that like if if so you got if you like zing someone or, or like you know someone will like you like got what they deserved. You'd say face. I don't know why I don't remember that.
Hold on. The other thing that we sometimes put it on, although we don't we don't do this very often is occasionally when we have occasionally we have ordered like takeout from you dawn, which is a food on chain. I don't recommend it for takeout. Because, you know, it's best when you just sit there but somehow, especially in this pandemic time. We've had it a couple times as takeout. And I think that that udaan and the broth that Hunan is in were made for shichimi
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:54
Yeah, I think that is probably the number one use of it in Japan. gone and so But yeah,
I am glad that I made it sound like I invented it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:05
Okay, you know, I need to send you and this goes not just for you, Molly, but you the listeners because I will post it in the show notes. I've been making dipping udaan at home like zabu dawn, I have figured out like the proportions I like for the dipping sauce. And like I put in pork if I've got it and scallions and onions and I don't even remember what else but it is so good.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:31
Yeah, I've been buying frozen udaan from wotja Maya which is which is very good, but also dry do not would be delicious. And uh, yeah, I'll share that. Okay. It's super easy to make,
and then you put shichimi on that. Yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:42
do. Okay, okay. It's so so sprinklered on udaan or soba. Ramen, like many, many ramen shops will have it available. That's classic. It's great on any hotpot dish. I made sukiyaki for dinner on Saturday and sprinkled some shichimi on that. That's great. Yeah. Are some leftovers I'm going to sprinkle again. Okay. yakitori obviously, fried eggs we just talked about popcorn is one of those things. Yeah, it's what it's definitely one of those things like you know, that that a non Japanese chef or food writer will say so you're bored with putting shichimi togarashi and other stuff. Try it on popcorn. It is good, though.
How is it with? You know, I remember the episode where we talked about the Was it the first episode of the show the Friday episode? Yeah, we made kimchi fried rice. Yes. Okay, well, so I remember talking I think during that episode about how delicious the flavor of kimchi is with butter. And is how is she me with butter?
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:42
I don't know if I've tried it. But like, in my mind, it sounds great.
Because I'm thinking about the flavor of popcorn and buttered popcorn. You know, like, like made at home like with real butter. And then with shichimi on that and I I just feel like there would it would be really delicious with the flavor of butter.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:01
Okay, let's try it.
Let's try it. I don't have any popcorn.
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:05
I do. I'll do and I'll tell you how to corn. I don't make popcorn often enough. I always think around dinner time like Oh, I should have made some popcorn or like maybe sometimes I'll make popcorn after dinner like for with a movie or a show. I know that's a wild thing to do.
That's crazy. Wow. Do you and so you buy actual like kernels I buy as
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:25
opposed kernels. Yeah. And I have an actual kernel.
I've never popped popcorn like that. I've only made my
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:33
oh my god.
I know it's like a regular pop
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:39
though. Well of things that that everyone has done. But Molly like we've gotten to the bottom of that. Well dredge it all out or whatever it is you do we have a well, no, that is a bottomless well. It's like that is the folk tale at the heart of our show is that we have access to a bottomless well. of stuff Molly has never If you fall into that, well, you will be falling forever and pass a lot of ordinary things like popcorn. Yeah, homemade popcorn like popped up in a pot is is the best.
Uh, can you maybe give me a lesson?
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:13
Yeah, I can give you a lesson I think okay, the popcorn episode like I think I think I probably gave you this lesson a person should?
I don't know. I don't know if I've told you. But so as you may recall, on our way to Tokyo, when we went there this past Christmas, I started watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy again on the airplane, because they had it free on whatever we were on.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:35
Yeah, we weren't on the same flight. But
But we were on the same airline. Yes. And they said the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy, all the Harry Potter movies, etc.
So on the way over there, I was like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:46
that's a long flight. So you were able to get through part of one Lord of the Rings.
I think she watched the first one and then half of the second one. Okay, on the first flight, and then on the way back. So
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:58
you watch one tower.
I watched one tower. Exactly. Anyway, then on the way back home, I watched the second half of the second movie and the third movie, and as you know, because I've talked about it recently, Ash and I recently watched the whole trilogy over again, like all 10 hours of it eat, including the extended version, I was just gonna ask the Return of the King. So now we're making my mom watch it, which means we're watching it again. Why don't what else do we have to do? Right? Yeah. So we're halfway through the two towers. We were one tower in one
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:33
I'm on anyway, but I'm thinking, God, I'm not. I'm not due for a grocery run today, but I kind of want to go out and get popcorn kernels, so I can make popcorn for us to watch it tonight.
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:46
Yeah, okay. Well, if you do, let me know and I will send you my popcorn instructions, which I did not invent. Okay. I invented the concept of popping popcorn in a pot. Yeah, no, like home home popped popcorn like with plenty of oil and salt is just perfect.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01
and you can even try some shichimi on some.
Unknown Speaker 32:04
I'm so excited. Okay,
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:06
okay, so another thing I learned when I was when I was researching this episode, I'd had shichimi flavored rice crackers like Sam Bay where the shichimi is sort of glued onto the surface of the cracker in in the same way that like, you know, Molly can't hear because she has her headphones off. But I'm saying some really interesting things
real itch on the inside of my ear. Now I heard you you were talking about gluing sheets you me on to rice crackers, right. So
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:30
in the same way that that you know what I'm realizing. I think the American shichimi togarashi is his ranch powder.
Oh, but we we don't actually put it on things other than like sour cream and turn it into it seems like we should write
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:47
it seems like
we should I wonder what it would be like to do something like Well, I don't know if you can expose ranch powder to heat. I wonder if it tastes really weird if that's a good question, but I wonder if he took something like grilled shrimp or something. It's maybe like a little bit smoky and it's already cooked and just toss a little
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:05
bit of ranch pattern or it sounds pretty weird. That'd
be weird though. Because of the buttermilk flavor. Maybe chicken?
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:10
Mm hmm. Either way,
Unknown Speaker 33:11
I don't know.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:12
Speaking what shichimi is great on cowdog a Japanese fried chicken. Oh,
so I was going to say that here in Seattle union saloon, which is a restaurant in Wallingford. They make a great fried chicken fried chicken thighs where the seasoning is shichimi togarashi. And it has some delicious served with little mound of pickles.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:32
Oh, that sounds great.
It's so good.
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:34
What I didn't know that that is sometimes available in Japan like I found is like a limited edition item. Like one thing they do really well in Japan is like you know our snack food or your chain restaurant has partnered with some with some sort of famous brand or like upscale restaurant and we're and we're like, you know, doing a crossover. And there was a series of I think probably kalbi chips not not kalbi like Korean short ribs, but kalbi brand of Japanese potato chips, where they partnered with I think shichimi or one of the big three shichimi togarashi shops to make shichimi togarashi potato chips with the actual teaching me from that shop. Which sounds so good. Oh, that
sounds fantastic. Wow. Do you ever buy shichimi seasoned rice crackers at watch Maya?
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:22
I have Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 34:22
How are they delicious?
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:24
Oh, I think like something you said like I think shichimi like does not take well to being like cooked on high heat because it has lots of stuff in it that could burn it which is why there's so often sprinkled on things that have like a broth having a kind of dissolving and flavor a broth is is really one of the best ways to enjoy it. I think
it makes it really draws out the aromas. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:45
there's there's a little bit of fat in the hemp seed a little fat in like any sort of Peel that's in there. Right. It's kind of like Anna bloom. And of course the chili peppers.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:55
Yeah. All right. I think I'm done.
That was not too heavy on the learning at all.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:59
I feel like I could keep going. Tell me more.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:03
If one thing I'm wondering now is like, and I think the answer is no. Like, if you ask like the average home cook in Japan, are they? Are they familiar with the concept that there are three famous shichimi togarashi shops? I think probably mostly not. But maybe
I wonder if it's something like, it's kind of like when you talk about American barbecue, right? Like, I imagine that there's some people who are like, oh, every American knows how Memphis barbecue is different from Kansas City barbecue is different from whatever. Well, the truth is, is I think that most of us don't know, we only know the one that's like closest to the one that's available where we are.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:39
Yes, like, or Kansas City barbecue, which is like the de facto national barbecue, I think,
right? So I wonder if it's a little bit like that, where it's like something that everyone uses. Everyone knows the flavor of like barbecue sauce, but I wonder if it's sort of like how most Americans probably really can't tell you the difference between different cities style barbecue, maybe I don't know how much Japanese people know about other cities. Let's just speculate about what other people in other countries now Well, okay, but
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:12
here's what I want to do. I want to I want you and I like you know, sometimes people will go to Japan and go on like a pilgrimage. Like when you walk around the perimeter of Shikoku and visit Ada temples or something like that. I want you and I to go to the we've been to one now we've knocked one off our list. I want to go to the other two famous shichimi togarashi shops. So we just need to get to Kyoto and Nagano. And then we're gonna have a tasting. Oh, cheese plate.
Okay. Okay, cool. I also want to go to Osaka because I haven't been there.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:42
Well, to Kyoto, so that'll be easy.
Perfect. Great. But I'm gonna make you go to a lot of temples with me and I know that. Okay, cool. So work up your temple stamina.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:53
I will be I'll be the person at the temple standing with a packet of shichimi togarashi like dipping my finger into it. Like Like I made fun Depp.
Yeah. Okay, cool. Great. All right. Okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:03
It's always great getting to spend this time with you.
It's always great getting to spend this time with you.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:10
Sounds like we're we've been either taken over by robots or held hostage.
It sounds like we've been locked in our houses for three months.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:18
I was on my tears squeaking.
That's what that was. Oh, I didn't hear it. Okay, but it sounds like you're making excuses for something else. Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:25
probably. All right. You can find us at one one or more of the three famous says shichimi togarashi. shops. Again, if
you are in Kyoto or nearby, and you feel like sending us some shichimi togarashi we will gladly Venmo you we will. We'll give a shout out to you on air. I didn't even ask Matthew for permission.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:49
Okay, that would be awesome.
Also, we're gonna be doing a full Takaki episode soon.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:54
Yep, send us that to
send us that to know. But what I wanted to say is that that Yeah, stay tuned for that if you didn't get enough, Japanese spice knowledge. Well, stay tuned. Yeah, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:08
started researching for the Kochi. And it has a very interesting story.
I can't wait. I'm excited. Okay. Yeah, you can find us wherever you already found us.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:16
build out podcast.com facebook.com slash spilled milk podcast.
You can submit ideas for what our our folktale corporate history should be.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:26
Yeah, like i think i think it needs to involve like a for some reason a lizard is coming to mind. Really? Yeah. Okay. Well,
we'll work on that. So so far, it's got a well, it's kind of bottomless well. It's got a root cellar cellar
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:41
and a lizard and a lizard. Like if you take those, there's got to be like an Epic Yarn in those three ingredients.
Okay. Our producer is Abby. circuit, Ella.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:52
What's her origin story?
We don't use Abby's origin story.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:55
We know that she sprouted in Hungary.
Yeah, she did. She's actually I think she wasn't she born here. Yeah, I think grew up in Hungary. Okay, so she didn't sprout in Hungary. But she blossomed there. Okay. All right. So um, yeah. Thanks for listening to spilled milk. The show that's a little bit spicy and tastes great. So sprinkle us on everything.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:20
I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.
I'm Molly weissenberg.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:29
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:33
Oh, no, no, I think we're fine.