Yuzu Kosho: How to Use Japanese Citrus Pepper Paste

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

Yuzu Kosho (柚子胡椒)

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

Hon Yuzu

The Japanese citrus pepper paste, Yuzu Kosho has a nice fragrance of Yuzu and features a uniquely pungent taste that is quite different from the spiciness of chilies. So with the addition of a little Yuzu Kosho to something, you will be able to enjoy its pleasant taste change.


The lumpy citrus pepper paste, Yuzu Kosho can be used in various ways, so today for those of you who are curious about the usage, let me introduce its basic and popular uses.

1. For Grilled Chicken and Beef Steak


Yuzu Kosho matches perfectly with grilled meat. In fact, Japanese people love to eat “Yakitori (焼き鳥)” grilled chicken skewers with the citrus pepper paste. Simply put a little amount of Yuzu Kosho and enjoy the meat. It is also good to use the citrus pepper paste in steak sauce. 

2. In Miso Soup


Yuzu Kosho goes well with miso soup, especially the one made with white miso. Simply drop in and dissolve a little amount.

3. In Pasta


Yuzu Kosho makes a good combination with pasta dishes, particularly with Japanese-style ones flavored with soy sauce. While cooking, drop in a pinch of Yuzu Kosho as a secret seasoning. By the way, the Japanese citrus pepper paste also works well with butter.

4. For Tempura


People living in the Kyushu region of Japan like to eat Tempura with Yuzu Kosho. Simply add a proper amount to the dipping sauce of Tempura “Tentsuyu (天つゆ)“.

5. In Udon Noodle Soup


When eating Udon noodles, Japanese people usually sprinkle the chili pepper mix Shichimi Togarashi, but the addition of some Yuzu Kosho to the soup can also give the dish a nice spicy touch.

6. In 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 Yuzu Kosho and let’s turn the dressing into one with a refreshing, new flavor.

7. For Sashimi


Some Japanese like to use Yuzu Kosho, instead of wasabi, in soy sauce for sashimi. The citrus pepper paste can give the dish a different satisfaction.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, 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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