Thursday, April 23, 2015

RawSpiceBar April 2015 Review ~ Taste Japan

RawSpiceBar sends freshly ground and roasted spices to your door every month. The April 2015 box provides recipes and spices used traditionally in Japan! Core elements of Japanese cooking like wakame seaweed, black and white toasted sesame seeds and brightly colored matcha are all included in the blends this month.
RawSpiceBar ships for free to the US and Canada. Your spices will arrive in a brown envelope which, when opened, reveals one of my favorite things about this subscription- the colorful paper pouch that contains all the spice envelopes and recipe cards!

The Cost: $18 for three months ($6/month)

What You Get: Each month, you will be sent 3-4 spice blends which are enough to create 3 separate dishes serving 8-12 people. The spice blends will weigh between 1-3 ounces each month. You will also receive recipe cards using the blends and access online to other recipe options.

Spicy Gomasio- This blend consists of toasted black & white sesame seeds, high quality sea salt and a touch of chiles for heat.  Frequently sprinkled on rice & salad dishes in Japan, this spice blend can be used anywhere you would typically use salt. Add to edamame, sauteed greens, eggs, soba noodles, popcorn or even as a crust for salmon or tofu.
The recipe included is for Gomasio and Avocado Soba Noodles. All I need are the avocados and I will be making this. While spicy is not my favorite, my husband loves both spicy and Japanese cooking so he's already begging me to get this concocted for him.
Update: So I made this and it was FANASTIC. I added shredded chicken breast to make it a viable meal and it was so so good! I actually made a mistake and got Somen noodles instead of Soba but whatever. Still delicious. I made a whole batch and my husband ate it all. In one day. And I now am required to make more. I hope RawSpiceBar comes up with a way to sell more of the spice blends we love.
Shichimi Togarashi- This smells so good. I mean, the Spicy Gomasio smells delicious but this... mouthwatering. It uses red chilies, black peppercorns, orange peel, nori flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, ginger and garlic. What's not to love? Besides the chilis, of course. I'm pretty sure it's going to be fantastic on pork tenderloin but it can also be sprinkled on rice or noodle dishes. Hm...
Matcha & Chia Mochi- I'm always surprised by the fact that there is a dessert in each shipment. This is for making your own mochi using matcha and chia! I guess I didn't even know you could make mochi by hand. Or rather, I never thought of it. My husband loves mochi and told me I have to try making this even though I'm pretty sure I'm going to screw it up. I'm not very good at desserts. /sigh

VERDICT: I really love the freshly toasted-ness of these RawSpiceBar spices. They smell unbelievably good. I'm also really glad they are in resealable packages because I can't always get around to using these immediately and since I only cook for two people, I don't use all the spice at once. I need to start taking pictures of my food adventures and updating these posts. Although my food photos always tend to turn out looking... less than appetizing? I need a real camera for food photos, I think. 
I did notice that they corrected their FAQ to say that you will receive 1-3oz of spice each month (instead of 2-3oz). Most months have been less than 2oz and have contained three different spice blends.

If you want to sign up for RawSpiceBar, they do it in three month increments. So for $18, you'll get three months of spices shipped to your door. You can sign up here and peruse their website to see all the other spices they've been featuring. If you love to cook, this is a really fun way to expand your horizons. If you don't love to cook but want to impress people, none of the recipes are too difficult. 
At $6 a month it's pretty fun to experiment, I have to admit.

*This was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links were used in this post.


  1. I love togorashi! I put in in my ramen....mmmmmmm!!

    1. Really? Like your Top Ramen? Or real ramen? Because DH loves top ramen and if sprinkling this in there will make him happy, I'll do it :D

    2. I've only tried it with the real one, but I'm sure it'll work with top ramen too. Maybe just use less seasoning so it doesn't cover up the togorashi taste :)

  2. Ohhh, now this is a themed month form Raw Spice Bar that I could get behind! I love matcha powder (though I've certainly never tried it with chia seeds before) and that recipe they included is very similar to my favorite mochi cake recipe so I bet it turns out awesome. :D

    1. I made the Soba noodle salad today! Soooo good with those spices. Although I made it with Somen noodles on accident. Whoops. Soba, somen... Next is mochi cake!