Yuzu Kosho

yuzu

5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite spice

I got addicted to this stuff when I was living in Japan, and one of my big regrets about being back in the US is how hard, and how expensive, it is to lay my hands on some yuzu kosho.

Yuzu kosho is made from the citrus fruit yuzu, which has a distinct flavor, different from a lime or lemon. Kosho basically means “pepper”, and this paste has a peppery flavor with a distinct yuzu bite. It is soooooo good, and goes with almost everything. It is especially good on chicken and fish, which is what I mainly use it for. I also use it for a ranch-style dressing that is fantastic.

This brand here is a high-quality version, rather than the ubiquitous cheap tube form you can find anywhere in Japan. You don’t use a lot of it when cooking, and a little goes a long ways, so this little jar will last awhile. I am really glad to have a place to buy it here in the US, because frankly I don’t want to go back to cooking without it!

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Yuzu Juice – 5.06 Oz

yuzu

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, sweet nectar

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, eaten during the winter, sometimes translated as “citron.” It has a very unique and luxurious taste. I have one cookbook that attempts to replicate the flavor by combining grapefruit, lemon and lime juice, but it just doesn’t work.

I got addicted to cooking with yuzu when I lived in Japan, as it adds a special touch to many dishes. The juice isn’t used as often as the aromatic peel, but even just splashing some of grilled fish adds a really nice layer.

The fruit is ubiquitous and cheap in Japan, costing no more than lemons and considerably less than limes. There are some growers in California, but the fruit is still too obscure to show up even at specialty grocery stores. Because of that, even this small bottle of juice is going to cost quite a bit of cash. I have seen it sell for somewhat cheaper at local Asian specialty stores, but if this is your only access to the product at least it is available!

You can get the yuzu flavor in the peppery pesto-like Yuzu Kosho, which is a must in my kitchen. The yuzu flavored soy-sauce ponzu is also available for less than the pure juice. (Although check the label. Sometimes ponzu is flavored with another Japanese fruit, sudachi, rather than yuzu.)

But be careful. Once you go yuzu, you won’t be going back.

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