Tomato Skin Togarashi

What You'll Need

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • zester or microplane
  • kitchen shears or scissors
  • food dehydrator or oven
  • mortar and pestle
  • mixing bowl
  • small jar with lid for storage
  • 3 tomato skins (approximately 1 tablespoon ground)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (from about 3 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried seaweed, such as wakame
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
It’s the season for canning tomatoes, isn’t it? Well, if you blanch the tomatoes and peel them, you’re left with a big bowl of skins. You lucky home preserver. Now you have another project! Tomato skin Togarashi is the thing to make.

Togarashi, in its various forms, is a Japanese condiment, traditionally made from seven spices. This recipe is a twist on the old standard, that delighted us when we came across it in Preservation Pantry: Modern Canning From Root to Top & Stem to Core, by Sarah Marshall. A kind of ah-ha moment, in which we realized that the skins we had been feeding to chickens and compost bins did indeed have more culinary use left in them. We’ve added some notes to the original recipe, to facilitate the use of a dehydrator, but either oven or dehydrator should work as well for this project. In fact, following this recipe made us realize that there is more to do with tomato skins, and this recipe is only a beginning. The first step is dehydration, and from there the skins can be ground into a powder, used to flavor salt blends, dressings, glass rims, and more. This togarashi blend is a worthy project for those slippery red tomato skins; it is a lively companion to ramen, salads, and eggs, and it is super-fine sprinkled, with salt, over a perfect avocado.

If you haven’t been canning recently, it’s easy enough to slip the skins off a few tomatoes. Simply drop tomatoes into boiling water and leave them for about 60 seconds. Fish them out with a strainer and drop them into ice water. The skins should wrinkle and slip right off with a little coaxing, and the tomato flesh can become sauce, or purée for a salad dressing.
measuring cups and spoons


Preheat an oven to 200° F, or prepare a food dehydrator. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or use dehydrator sheets.
arrange tomato skins on dehydrator sheetsSpread the tomato skins over the drying sheets, and dehydrate for about 30 minutes. Rotate the sheet, if drying appears uneven, and dehydrate for another 15 minutes. The tomato skins are dry when they are red and crisp.
While the skins are drying, zest 3 oranges with a box grater or coarse Microplane. dehydrate lemon zestEvenly sprinkle the orange zest onto a prepared drying sheet and dehydrate for about half an hour. Check the zest occasionally as it dries, crumbling it between the fingers to make sure large clumps do not stick together and inhibit even drying. The zest is done when it is still bright orange and completely dry.

While the skins and peels are drying, toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the skillet so the seeds toast evenly. Remove the seeds from heat and spread them in a plate or shallow bowl to cool.toast sesame seeds
Once the tomato skins, orange peel, and sesame seeds are all dry and cool, place the tomato skins in a mortar and grind them with the pestle to a fine powder. grind tomato skinsSet them aside in a bowl, and grind the red pepper flakes and black peppercorns together. add black peppercornsUse scissors to snip the seaweed into small pieces and grind it together with the pepper mixture.snip seaweed into the mixture
Combine the seaweed and pepper mixture in the bowl with the tomato skins. combine ingredientsAdd the orange zest and the sesame seeds, and mix well. mix all ingredients togetherStore in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight for up to 6 months.
store in a jar for 1 week

yumOver to You

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