Make sure you have a cork board or a place on your table to which you can secure the raffia. Fold the 120-cm long strings in half.
Put the 2 folded strands together, and make a knot about 5 cm down.
Put the 2 middle strands under the first chili pepper and the two outer string over it as shown.
Pull up the 2 middle strands...
...and insert the next chili pepper under the 2 middle strands.
Pull the 2 middle strands to the outside.
Pull up the 2 strands that are now in the middle...and insert another chili pepper.
Pull the 2 middle strands to the outside. Repeat these steps.
When the braid is as long as you want it to be, tie the 4 strings together and it's done!
Story Behind this Recipe
I make ichimi togarashi (red chili pepper powder) every year at home. I used to dry the chili peppers in a sieve, but the other day when I went to an Italian restaurant I saw a braid of them hanging near the cash register. I turned it around and around to study how it was put together, and as soon as I got home, I tried to recreate it before I forgot how.
Press down on the chili peppers with your fingers as you weave them rather tightly. In the photo I used my bare hands, but it may be prudent to put on protective gloves. (Your hands may burn due to the capsaicin.) If you do use your bare hands, be careful not to rub your eyes with them!