Meet Yuzu Kosho, the Secret Weapon Condiment Chefs Are Putting On Everything


If you finish every dish, night after night, with a dash of salt and pepper, or red pepper flakes for flare—it’s time you met yuzu kosho. The Japanese paste easily made from combining yuzu, chiles, and salt drops a flavor bomb on everything it touches. Fish, steak, noodles, soups, and desserts go from zero to hero with teaspoon-size dollops of the stuff. Chefs know it—they’ve been using it at their restaurants for years—and it’s time you did, too.

What Is Yuzu Kosho?
Yuzu kosho is a pasty Japanese condiment made from fresh chiles (most often green or red Thai or bird’s eye chiles) then fermented with salt along with zest and juice from yuzu, a tart and fragrant citrus fruit that grows in East Asia. The trifecta of chiles, citrus, and salt come together in a powerful and distinctive flavor that enlivens a dish—anything from sashimi to braised short ribs and cookies—instantly.

What Does It Taste Like?
Justin Smillie of Upland, who was introduced to it by his mother-in-law’s cooking, describes it as “The perfect marriage of citrus and chiles coming together.” For Sterling Ridings, executive chef of Uchiko in Austin: “It’s alive almost. It’s just got so much pop to it, and it’s so versatile.”

When Johanna Ware, chef of Smallwares in Portland, craves it, she’ll drop a tiny bit into miso soup to add acid and spice.

Seared Scallops with Avocado, Yuzu Kosho, and Daikon from Ignacio Mattos at Estela in New York. Photo: Christopher Baker

How They Use It

Yuzu kosho is at its best when it’s cutting through the richness and fat of meat. It’s why Sarah Pliner at Aviary in Portland made a mock kimchi with yuzu kosho to balance out braised short rib. Now she …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit