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Recipes for the Holiday Table

Recipe: After you roast crispy Thanksgiving potatoes, brighten them with Japanese togarashi spice

Togarashi Roast Potatoes.Claudia Catalano

Serves 6

The Japanese spice mixture shichimi togarashi -- shichi means "seven" and togarashi means "chile peppers" -- contains seven ingredients: chile pepper, sansho peppercorns, orange rind, sesame seeds, ground ginger, poppy seeds, and the dried seaweed nori. You can purchase a little bottle at an Asian market, or blend an equally interesting, yet paired down, version of the condiment with ingredients you probably have on hand. Make extra craggy potatoes by boiling them in salted water, tossing them in a mixture of melted butter and olive oil, and roasting them in a hot oven. The finished potatoes will form a starchy exterior layer that crisps in the oven. Finish off the golden nuggets with a generous sprinkling of togarashi, and serve your guests something a little unexpected.

TOGARASHI

2teaspoons sesame seeds
1tablespoon crushed red pepper
1teaspoon poppy seeds
½teaspoon ground ginger
½teaspoon black pepper
1teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 2 oranges

1. In a small heavy-based skillet, spread the sesame seeds. Set the pan over medium heat, and toast the seeds, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat and tip the seeds into a bowl large enough to hold all the spices. Leave to cool.

2. In a small food processor or spice mill, blend the sesame seeds, red pepper, and poppy seeds. Tip them into the bowl and stir in the ginger, black pepper, salt, and orange rind. Mix with your fingertips until the orange rind is well distributed. The mixture can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

POTATOES

Salt, to taste
4pounds russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
4tablespoons butter
4tablespoons olive oil

1. Set the oven at 500 degrees. Line 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Set a large colander in your sink.

2. Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil with a very generous spoonful of salt. Add the potatoes. Let the water return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes. They should be starting to soften on the outside but still be firm in the center. Drain the potatoes into the colander.

3. In the soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When the butter is foamy, return the potatoes to the pot. Stir them so they are coated all over with the butter and oil.

4. Transfer to the baking sheet pans and spread out in one layer. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, tossing them and rotating the pans halfway through cooking. They should be golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer to a large, shallow serving platter and sprinkle with togarashi. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Claudia Catalano

Serves 6

The Japanese spice mixture shichimi togarashi -- shichi means "seven" and togarashi means "chile peppers" -- contains seven ingredients: chile pepper, sansho peppercorns, orange rind, sesame seeds, ground ginger, poppy seeds, and the dried seaweed nori. You can purchase a little bottle at an Asian market, or blend an equally interesting, yet paired down, version of the condiment with ingredients you probably have on hand. Make extra craggy potatoes by boiling them in salted water, tossing them in a mixture of melted butter and olive oil, and roasting them in a hot oven. The finished potatoes will form a starchy exterior layer that crisps in the oven. Finish off the golden nuggets with a generous sprinkling of togarashi, and serve your guests something a little unexpected.

TOGARASHI

2teaspoons sesame seeds
1tablespoon crushed red pepper
1teaspoon poppy seeds
½teaspoon ground ginger
½teaspoon black pepper
1teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 2 oranges

1. In a small heavy-based skillet, spread the sesame seeds. Set the pan over medium heat, and toast the seeds, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat and tip the seeds into a bowl large enough to hold all the spices. Leave to cool.

2. In a small food processor or spice mill, blend the sesame seeds, red pepper, and poppy seeds. Tip them into the bowl and stir in the ginger, black pepper, salt, and orange rind. Mix with your fingertips until the orange rind is well distributed. The mixture can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

POTATOES

Salt, to taste
4pounds russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
4tablespoons butter
4tablespoons olive oil

1. Set the oven at 500 degrees. Line 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Set a large colander in your sink.

2. Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil with a very generous spoonful of salt. Add the potatoes. Let the water return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes for 3 to 5 minutes. They should be starting to soften on the outside but still be firm in the center. Drain the potatoes into the colander.

3. In the soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When the butter is foamy, return the potatoes to the pot. Stir them so they are coated all over with the butter and oil.

4. Transfer to the baking sheet pans and spread out in one layer. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, tossing them and rotating the pans halfway through cooking. They should be golden brown with crisp edges. Transfer to a large, shallow serving platter and sprinkle with togarashi. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.Claudia Catalano