Okay, so if two guys in culinary school get together to smash some limes and garlic, that doesn’t quite qualify as a “par-tay,” but it was a lot of fun and the result was very, very pleasing – yuzu kosho.
What is yuzu kosho? It’s an aromatic paste, similar to Thai curry paste, which is made from citrus zest, peppers, salt, and garlic. It’s somewhat labor intensive, but incredibly flavorful. We found that the flavors were not only bold and pleasing, but sustaining – they really had staying power on the tongue. We got the idea from a trip to Austin’s noted restaurant Uchiko, which is the home restaurant of Top Chef winner Paul Qui. They use quite a bit of Yuzu.
Yuzu kosho is a traditional ingredient from Japan, and is typically made from yuzu, a hard-to-find citrus. Yuzu is like a combination between a tangerine and an orange. Without Yuzu, you can use a ratio of several limes for each lemon. I have tried fresh Yuzu, and it’s not so special that NOT having it is a major problem.
Below: Lime zest, ready for processing.