Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yuzu-koshou mayonnaise 柚子胡椒マヨネーズ

Yuzu-koshou 柚子胡椒 is one of the most useful and versatile Japanese condiment/seasonings. It is a mixture of salt, chopped  peel of a Japanese citrus called "yuzu" 柚子 and chili pepper (usually green chili pepper but it could also be red chili pepper). Chili peppers are called "koshou" in Kyushu Island 九州. In the rest of Japan, "koshou" usually means either ground black or white peppercorns and chili peppers are called "Tougarashi" 唐辛子. One could make this from scratch if yuzu is available but, yuzu, even if available, in the U.S. is too expensive to attempt this.

The next best thing is to buy ready-made yuzu-koshou in a tube as seen in the left. This will keep at least a few weeks or more in the refrigerator after opening. Yuzu-koshou is usually used as a seasoning or condiment for Nabe dishes, noodles in broth, and cold cubes of tofu but it could be used in any dish. I use it to season meat mixtures for hamburgers or Japanese "Tsukune" dishes.

Another way to use yuzu-koshou is as a dressing. The easiest combination is to mixed it with mayonnaise. Like wasabi-mayonnaise, you could add quite a bit of yuzu-koshou, since the mayonnaise dampens the heat. I usually make it with a ratio of almost 1:1 of mayo and yuzu-kosho but this is totally up to your taste. You could also add soy sauce in addition.

Here are two examples of how I used yuzu-koshou-mayonnaise.

The first one below is steamed haricot verts dressed in mayo-yuzu-koshou. This was served as a side for Paprika-cumin rubbed low-temperature (350F) baked pork tenderloin slices, homemade cranberry sauce, my wife's mushed potato seasoned with soy sauce and butter.
On another occasion, I served curry flavored chicken wing and drumet with steamed broccoli dressed in yuzu-koshou-mayo.
The mixture of yuzu flavor and spiciness really adds even to store-bought mayonnaise.


Sissi said...

Hi! I have just discovered your blog and I find it fascinating! I am a big fan of the Japanese cuisine. I slowly discover it and learn to cook it as far as the grocery shops in Switzerland allow me to. I am a happy owner of the first izakaya cookery book you mention and I am convinced izakayas would be my favourite places to eat (not to mention drinking!) if I lived in Japan!
This yuzo-koshou post sounds like written especially for me ;-) In fact, I have bought a jar of yuzu-koshou, tasted it and put back into the fridge about two weeks ago. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

Uncle N said...

Sissi, I have been a fan of your beautiful blog. Few years ago we spent 10 days in Switzerland; Zurich, Geneva and, of course, the mountains were particularly memorable. Am I right to asume you did not like Yuzu-Koshou. If you use it to flavor your "Nabe" dishes or noodles in broth, it is not bad but I mostly use to flavor meat (esp Japanese "Tsukune") or as a part of dressing like ones in this post.

Sissi said...

Uncle N, thank you for your answer and for the compliment. Switzerland has beautiful mountains indeed, especially for those who like skiing. (Unfortunately I don't ski).
I really liked the taste of Yuzu-Koshou (I love yuzu juice and I love chili), but didn't really know how to use it... It didn't go well with the things where I usually put chili oil or chili paste...
Thank you once more for the tips! I think I will try it first in a dressing, like I have seen in your post.