If you’re ever feeling uninspired in the kitchen, experimenting with spices can elevate your usual repertoire of recipes. Transform the way you approach cooking with your favorite proteins & pantry staples by introducing new flavor combinations. As daunting as that may sound, we’re hoping that 12/10’s Spice Kit will be a helpful springboard towards more tasty and creative cooking experiences. Get acquainted with six of the kit’s inclusions below and their many delicious applications.
Shichi-mi tōgarashi (meaning seven-flavor chili pepper) is a Japanese spice blend consisting of ground red chili peppers, sanshō, roasted or dried orange peel, black & white sesame, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, and aonori. These components are sometimes swapped with yuzu peel, rapeseed, or shiso, but produces the same unmistakable bright and toasty kick that goes well with ramen and yakitori. This versatile ingredient has a more complex savory quality than dried chili flakes and consequently makes a great swap for hot sauce. Try incorporating it into marinades and glazes for grilled meats, make a shichimi-lime butter to dollop on steak, or simply sprinkle on fried chicken, pizza, or poached eggs.
Aonori is edible seaweed cultivated off the coasts of Japan that is dried then crushed or finely shredded into flakes. It features in Japanese cooking mainly as a topping for takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and yakisoba. However, it has further potential to add subtle umami to any dish of your liking such as salads, soups, or stir-fries. Why not toss with buttery popcorn or mix into mayonnaise for the perfect potato chip dip? You can also make an easy homemade furikake or rice seasoning with aonori, toasted sesame seeds, salt, & sugar (and if you’ve got it on hand, supplement with katsuobushi, niboshi, or shiitake from 12/10’s Japanese Pantry Kit). Furikake would be a great garnish for a bowl of steamy rice, spam musubi, veggie dishes, or even avocado toast.
Also known as Japanese pepper, sanshō is made from the ground berries of the prickly ash tree that grows in Japan and the southern Korean peninsula. It is closely related to the Sichuan peppercorn and provides the same tingling heat but with an added note of sharp citrus. Its fragrant aroma and lemony quality make it an essential flavoring in unagi and yakitori. Sanshō is also a good accompaniment to savory-sweet dishes such as teriyaki and tebasaki chicken wings, and does well to cut through the fattiness of pork and mushrooms.
Most people would associate it with tea, lattes, baked goods, and kit kat. Considered a superfood, it has received a cult-like following in the last decade, and for good reason! Matcha powder is finely ground green tea leaves that are grown away from sunlight for up to four weeks before they are harvested. This extra step allows for the increased production of amino acids like theanine, which is believed to have stress-reducing properties. Even though matcha powder is usually consumed as a hot beverage, you can also utilize its pleasant bitterness to add depth of flavor to food. In breakfast dishes, it complements the sweetness of smoothie bowls, pancakes, yoghurt, and fruits like coconut, mango, and banana. In savory dishes, it goes well with the flavors of ginger, miso, basil, and pistachio (matcha-pistachio crusted fish, anyone?) When it comes to desserts, well, the possibilities are endless: incorporate matcha into cookies, cakes, muffins, buttercream, or pair with white chocolate, mascarpone, black sesame, or caramel.
12/10’s own finishing salt includes a spice blend with orange, turmeric, and garlic. We recommend a generous sprinkling on almost anything your heart desires, but a few ideas would be: french fries, roasted asparagus, lemon aioli, BBQ chicken or pork, and steamed or fried fish. Our tangy spice salt is also perfect for coating the crunchy exterior of breaded or battered deep-fried seafood, meat, and vegetables (katsu & tempura).
Another of 12/10’s concocted blends, our smoky black spice is composed of paprika, cumin, and brown sugar in the exact proportions you’d need to recreate 12/10’s blackened Fish Head dish. Use as a dry rub on salmon, scallops, your favorite cut of steak, or ribs and end up with a sumptuous black caramelized crust. It would also work well coated on grilled chicken, pork chops, and roasted veggies like brussel sprouts, sliced red onions, or cauliflower florets.