These vegan Togarashi Fries with Ichimi Miso Mayo are an indulgent, spicy favorite of ours lately. Fries are a bit of a blank canvas. You can top, dip or season them with just about anything. The same is true of vegan mayo, the neutral creaminess of mayo provides a blank canvas for layering a variety of flavors. And since we love using Asian spices and ingredients, we’ve decided to prominently feature two Japanese spices in this recipe.
Our Togarashi Fries use a Japanese spice blend known as nanami togarashi, sometimes called shichimi. This blend of 7 ingredients combines ground chili peppers with additional ingredients like dried orange peel and seaweed giving the seasoning a certain depth and complexity. Making your own nanami togarashi isn’t difficult, but for time and convenience we have used S&B Nanami Togarashi. There are a number of brands available, but each company’s spice blend will vary.
For our Ichimi Miso Mayo we’ve chosen to use red miso, also known as akamiso. Red miso has a richer, more robust flavor than other types of miso and provides the body and umami to help to balance the spicy ichimi togarashi. Ichimi togarashi, not to be confused with shichimi, is a Japanese dried chili flake. It’s seedless, fairly fine and hot enough to give some bite without too much burn.
Togarashi Fries with Ichimi Miso Mayo
Yield: 2 small servings
For the Togarashi Fries
- 1 large russet potato (about 350g), peeled and cut into ¼-inch thin batons*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp nanami (shichimi) togarashi, divided*
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped scallions (green parts only)
For the Ichimi Miso Mayo
To make the fries, preheat the oven to 220°C/450°F. Combine the olive oil, salt and 1¼ teaspoon of nanami (shichimi) togarashi (reserve the remaining ¼ teaspoon for garnish) in a large bowl. Add the thinly sliced potatoes to the bowl and toss with the seasoning until coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the seasoned potatoes out flat, avoid crowding or layering them if possible. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until browned and slightly firm. Remove the fries from the oven and transfer to a bowl or plate, garnish with ¼ teaspoon nanami (shichimi) togarashi, chopped scallion and cilantro. Serve with Ichimi Miso Mayo or the vegan mayo of your choice.
To make the mayo, place all of the ingredients except the oil in a tall, narrow container that can fit an immersion blender. Using an immersion blender, blend until the ingredients are full incorporated. Pause to scrape the sides of the container and combine any ingredients that did not blend. Continue blending and slowly add the oil until preferred mayo consistency is achieved. If the mixture isn’t fully combined, turn the blender off and scrape the sides to incorporate all of the ingredients before blending again. If you need to stop and stir the mixture, do not leave it standing too long or your mayo may begin to separate or break. Transfer your mayo to a glass container with a lid and refrigerate for an hour prior to using, allowing the flavors to meld and the mixture to thicken. If doubling, this recipe can be made in a high speed blender.
Advance preparation: The Ichimi Miso Mayo may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir prior to using. For the best consistency and flavor, use within 2-3 days. This recipe makes enough mayo for two batches of fries. But the versatility of this spicy mayo makes it an easy one to finish. Along with fries, this mayo also pairs well with burgers, sushi or simply as a dip with fresh vegetables.
Potato: We used 1 large russet potato. Weight may vary – but approximately 335-350g is good. Serious Eats offers a helpful video tutorial on how to cut fries.
Togarashi: We used S&B brand nanami togarashi. It is a blend of chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame, white sesame, ginger, Japanese pepper and seaweed. It is also known as shichimi.
Soya Milk: We haven’t tried the mayo recipe with nut-based milks yet, but we personally like unsweetened soya milk. We especially like West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk because it has only two ingredients (filtered water and whole organic soybeans), giving it a clean, simple flavor.