When shopping for food products in Tokyo I find there are some items you just gotta get. Either because they are so delicious or as they are a trendy item. Taberu rayu is in the second category. Popular for about two years now it is still a hot item on the market and can be addictive. The bottle pictured above is from Momoya, the company also famous for its nori paste called “gohan desu yo”.
Taberu rayu (chili oil that can be eaten) is without the heat of traditional rayu and packed with additional seasonings. The market has taken off for this product so there is are many variations, but typical ingredients include chili-infused sesame oil, deep-fried garlic chips, sesame seeds, sugar, fried onions, and dried shrimp to name a few. At Tsukiji Market one store has created a version that includes tuna and a pickled vegetable, takana. Taberu rayu is best eaten over a hot bowl of rice to appreciate its flavors and texture, but is a versatile condiment finding its way to burgers, noodles and even tofu. The best place to purchase it is at any supermarket.
FYI – rayu is most commonly used combined with soy sauce and vinegar for a dipping sauce for gyoza (pot stickers).
Taberu Rayu Two (without the oil)