Yuzu Kosho : 7 Ways to Use Japanese Citrus Pepper Paste

When eating Japanese foods, have you ever used “Yuzu Kosho (柚子胡椒)”? Yuzu Kosho is a common Japanese condiment. Especially in the Kyushu region of Japan, it is widely used for a variety of foods.

Yuzu Kosho

Yuzu Kosho is a pasty condiment made from Yuzu citrus peel, red chili pepper or green chili, and salt. The 3 ingredients are ground together, then aged.

“Yuzu (柚子)” is a citrus fruit that grows in East Asia, which is very fragrant but has a strong acidity.

Yuzu Citrus Fruit

The Japanese citrus pepper paste, Yuzu Kosho features a nice fragrance of Yuzu and a unique pungent flavor that is quite different from the spiciness of chilies.

So if you just add a small amount of Yuzu Kosho to some food, you will be able to enjoy a pleasant change of its taste.

How to Use Yuzu Kosho

In Japan, Yuzu Kosho is used in various ways. Thus, today let me introduce 7 basic and typical ways to use the lumpy citrus pepper paste.

1. For Grilled Chicken and Beef Steak


Yuzu Kosho matches perfectly with grilled meat. In fact, many Japanese love to eat grilled meat, such as “Yakitori (焼き鳥)“, with the citrus pepper paste. Simply put a little amount of Yuzu Kosho on the meat and enjoy. It is also good to use the citrus pepper paste as a seasoning for sauce. For example, Yuzu Kosho pairs well with steak sauce.

2. For Miso soup


Yuzu Kosho works well with Miso soup. It is said that the Japanese citrus pepper paste makes a great pair especially with the Miso soup made with white miso paste. Put and dissolve a dash of the lumpy paste in the soup and enjoy.

3. For Pasta


Yuzu Kosho goes unexpectedly well with pasta, particularly with the Japanese-style pasta flavored mainly with soy sauce. While cooking pasta, drop in a pinch of Yuzu Kosho as a secret ingredient. What is more, the Japanese citrus condiment also works well with butter.

4. For Tempura 


Using Yuzu Kosho for Tempura is one of the most common eating manners in the Kyushu region of Japan. Simply add a proper amount of the citrus pepper paste to the thin soy-sauce-based dipping sauce for tempura “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)“.

5. For Udon Noodle Soup


Although Japanese people usually sprinkle the spicy, flavorful Japanese condiment Shichimi Togarashi over Udon noodle soup, if you add some Yuzu Kosho to the noodle dish, instead of the 7 spice blend, that gives the food a distinct, fragrant touch.

6. For Dressing


Don’t you have an unused dressing in the refrigerator? Yuzu Kosho works well with salad dressings as well. Mix a proper amount of the Japanese citrus pepper paste with the unused dressing and let’s turn it into one with a refreshing, new flavor.

7. For Sashimi


Yuzu Kosho goes unexpectedly well with Sashimi. Instead of Wasabi grated Japanese horseradish, put a pinch of the pasty citrus condiment in soy sauce and let’s enjoy the fresh raw fish slices dipping in the pleasant pungent sauce.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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