This simple spice blend is loosely modeled on a Japanese seasoning called shichimi. To make it more authentic, you’d add two teaspoons of finely chopped nori (seaweed) and a teaspoon of chopped dried orange peel.
Step 1: Combine the paprika, hot red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Step 2: Stir to mix. Stored in a sealed jar away from heat and light, the spice mix will keep for at least 6 months.
Black sesame seeds are available at Japanese markets and natural foods stores.
To toast white sesame seeds, place them in a small dry skillet (don’t use a nonstick skillet for this) over medium heat. Cook until the seeds are fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan to ensure even toasting. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a heatproof bowl to cool.