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Yuzu Kosho 101: How To Make Japanese Mysterious Condiment For Everything

how to make yuzu kosho at home Food & Recipes

The citrusy spicy all-purpose condiment, “yuzu kosho“, which one of the Japanese mysterious traditional condiments from Kyushu.

Japanese citrus and chili paste is unequivocally one of the unique local condiments with explosive flavor to the dish.

When you meet this mysterious condiment made of only 3 ingredients:

yuzu-fruit zest, green chili peppers, and salt,

even itsy-bitsy paste will burst with flavor on everything, literally, everything.

It’s like chimichurri sauce use, Yuzu kosho goes well with seafood, steak, noodles, soups, and tofu.

What Is Yuzu Kosho?

Yuzu kosho is a pasty condiment made of Yuzu-fruit peels, fresh green chili peppers such as Thai or bird’s eye chili peppers, then fermented with salt.

Yuzu is a popular citrus fruit, especially in Asian countries, especially Korea and Japan.

Typically, green yuzu (unraped yuzu fruit) is used for Yuzu kosho, so it is often called Ao-Yuzu kosho (green yuzu kosho).

Yet, there are other types of Yuzu kosho depending on raw materials.

Yuzu kosho is originated in Kyushu, and it’s still a staple condiment to locals.

Kosho refers to “black/ white peppers” in Japanese, but, in this case, it doesn’t refer to them.

In old-time Kyusu, Kosho was referred to as “chili peppers”, so it is still called “Yuzu Kosho” today.

What Does Yuzu Kosho Taste Like?

First of all, you may need to understand what Yuzu tastes like since it has a unique citrus flavor unlike lemons, limes, and other citrus fruit.

It’s hard to describe since the flavor and aroma of yuzu are complex,

Fresh yuzu has a citrusy, tart flavor, unique refreshing, and relaxing aroma, mixed with lemon, lime, grapefruit, and mandarin.

Basically, Yuzu is not eaten raw as it is, we enjoy Korean yuzu honey ginger tea or floats in a hot bath.

Therefore, Yuzu kosho tastes unique citrusy, tangy, quite spicy, salty, and sensational.

(You know, some people don’t like it at all.)

How To Use Yuzu Kosho

Generally, Yuzu kosho is used for Sashimi, Yakitori, Tempura, and Japanese hot pot dishes.

Since it has been getting popular throughout Japan, so there is more variety of dishes with Yuzu kosho.

  • Noodles dishes
  • Stir-fry dishes
  • Deeping sauce for deep-fried foods
  • Dipping sauce for steamed vegetables
  • Dipping sauce for Chinese dumplings
  • Japanese pickles, Tsukemono
  • Salad dressing
  • With mozzarella cheese
  • With ice cream

Since it has a sensational refreshing and kicking flavor, it can cut through the richness and fat of meat.

When it is used for greasy beef and pork, it can combinate well with greasy and create sweetness and refreshing flavor.

This iconic dish is very rich so YUZU KOSHO can give you a refreshing flavor.

Japanese beef tendon stew (beef cheek stew in this recipe) is popular as an Izakaya appetizer, side menu, and/or as the topping on a rice bowl. I make this melt-in-your-mouth dish made with beef cheeks. The Miso sauce will be a mellow round flavor and the meat will soak the miso sauce. *Check out the recipe

Of course, not only meat, it can incredibly season seafood for cooked and uncooked dishes.

Put smoked oyster, it’s really good.

Personally, yuzu-kosho is perfect for foods that don’t have strong flavors such as chicken, white fish, shellfish, vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu.

YUZU KOSHO definitely gives the sensational flavor and umami bomb to simple flavored food (does not mean tasteless) as I said.

So, like a Japanese hot pot dish with Chicken balls goes the perfect dish to enjoy YUZU KOSHO. All ingredients are so natural, so simple, and not rich strong flavor, this garnish brings a unique additional taste different from any other garnishes and condiments. *Japanese Chicken Ball Nabe recipe

Don’t think too much, just add Yuzu-kosho as garnish without hurting yourself.

Where To Get Yuzu Kosho?

Yuzu Kosho Pepper Paste, Spices and Seasonings, Japanese Seasoning

The easiest and quiet way to get the authentic Yuzu kosho is of course, to get it from AMAZON!

Even though I didn’t know it was available on the Amazon market, Yuzu kosho must be popular already!

It’s the way to get Yuzu kosho, but, I highly recommend making homemade citrus kosho at home.

How To Make Yuzu Kosho At Home

It is not difficult to make homemade Yuzu kosho at home.

You can’t get yuzu easily?

Do not worry!

We use lime instead of Yuzu in the recipe.

You can substitute lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit zest for the hard-to-find yuzu.

It’s really not necessary to use green chili peppers, you can use red chili peppers.

Yet, the Yuzu (lime) kosho color will be vivid green to enjoy your eyes.

The ratio of chilis to citrus zest is 4:1, and add 10-15% salt of a total amount at last.

In the traditional way, Suribachi and surikogi are often used,

since it can bring fine paste Yuzu kosho, however,

food processor/ mixer/ chopper doesn’t bother to make good homemade Yuzu kosho.

What’ll Need To Make Yuzu Kosho

  • Disposal or kitchen gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • a face mask
  • food processor/ mixer/ chopper

Wearing kitchen gloves while chopping green chili peppers! It’s hand protection also you can avoid getting through irritation and itchiness that I had before when chopping jalapeno without wearing gloves.

Also, it’s better to wear a face mask (I know you hate it) and a pair of safety glasses when you open the lid of the food processor.

how to make yuzu kosho at home

How To Make Yuzu Kosho: Japanese Citrus Chili Paste

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
A condiment so simple, citrusy, spicy, sensational, and amazing. Yuzu kosho is going to be your favorite use of lime or other citrus fruits which is tempting with simple grilled meats, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, or steamed, stir-fried, soup, salad… To make the yuzu kosho, take a large handful or four of green chili peppers like serrano, jalapeno, Thai, or bird's eye. The golden ratio of peppers to citrus zest is 4 : 1.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 14 days 30 minutes
Course Condiments
Cuisine Japanese


  • 1 pair of Disposal glove
  • 1 pair of safety glass optional
  • 1 face mask optional
  • 1 food processor/ mixer/ chopper
  • 1 clean jar


  • 2 organic unwaxed large limes *Yuzu, lemon, mandarin
  • 4 green chili pepper serrano, jalapeno, Thai, bird eye
  • 10 % salt


  • Wash and rinse limes well.
  • Peel only the green part of the skin thoughtfully.
  • Cut off the stem of green chili peppers, slice them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds.
  • Place the peppers into a food processor or food chopper.
  • Mince finely them into small pieces.
  • Add lime skins and combine well.
  • Add 10% salt to the total amount and ferment it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • It can store for a month.



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Keyword condiment, Easy, Fermented food, fruit, Garnish, lemon, Spicy, Traditional, Vegan, Vegetarian
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