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Exactly what is yuzu kosho?

The Asian citrus wonder paste, debunked.

What is Yuzu explainer guide
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We’re ready to tackle another favourite pantry essential ingredient of mine: yuzu kosho. This Japanese condiment is made from fresh green chillies that are fermented with salt, plus the rind and juice of the yuzu. It’s a paste that really packs a punch – salty, zingy, savoury… all the things, in other words. But what is yuzu kosho exactly? Let’s take a deep dive.

First, let’s talk yuzu

Yuzu is a variety of citrus fruit that originates in Asia. They can grow up to the size of a small grapefruit and, once ripe, they are yellow in colour and have a slightly wrinkly skin. Commonly used in Japanese cuisine, they’re also fairly popular within Korean and Chinese cooking.

 

The juice and zest and the key components, and yuzu can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. For savoury recipes, it can be used in much the same way as vinegar – to add an acidic bite to dishes and a subtle sour element. Typically, yuzu suits lighter meats, such as chicken, fish and pork.

 

On the sweeter end of the scale, yuzu is great in marmalade, candied peel, infused into liquor or added to cream to make luscious, citrussy desserts. But this tangy, tart wonderfruit is also coming of age – you’ll often find it on the menu of cocktail bars, as the zesty juice is rising in popularity as an ingredient in bartender’s concoctions.

Well how’s about this for your next morning tea? It’s a baked slice (and we’re only using one bowl to make it, so it’s minimal mess, huzzah!) with an Asian twist, where tart and citrussy yuzu, smooth vanilla and sweet pastry make friends in one knockout treat. There’s no fuss and no fancy equipment necessary – not even a rolling pin! It’s lush, it’s vibrant… it’s almost too good to share. Easy peasy, yuzu squeezy.

What can I use instead of yuzu kosho?

What is Yuzu explainer guide

You can typically find yuzu kosho in a Japanese or Asian grocer, or seek it out online. However if you can’t find it, I have a handy substitute you can use instead. If not, you can use the zest of 1 lemon, ½ finely chopped jalapeño and ½ tsp sea salt in its place.

Yuzu kosho recipes you’ll love

Two gorgeous dishes that totally benefit from this condiment powerhouse? Read on…

Yes, I’m a legs and thighs girl, but my Yuzu Chicken Piccata recipe is all about chicken breasts, my friends! And my secret ingredient and Japanese spin on things is a total gamechanger. Quick, easy and weeknight friendly, I like to serve this with rice and greens or even mashed potatoes.

That gloss! That sheen! I could stare at these noodles all day… although I’d rather be eating them, of course. Bouncy udon noodles are drenched in a thick and luscious creamy, cheesy sauce, with lashings of garlic and big juicy prawns to top it off. Plus a little secret ingredient for some added je ne sais quoi (hint: you’ve just been reading all about it). A fusion pasta recipe for the win.

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