Yuzu Kosho (Japanese citrus chili paste)

September 26, 2021 / by Junko

Yuzu kosho is a spicy and salty Japanese condiment made with zest from yuzu citrus and hot chilis.
We love it with grilled chicken, steak, fish, hot pots…you name it!

The ingredients for “Yuzu Kosho” are very simple. The main material is the zest of the green Yuzu “Ao Yuzu” before it turns yellow in the winter. All you need besides Yuzu is green pepper and salt! The season for green Yuzu is from July to October. Green peppers are in season from July to September.
Usually green yuzu is used but you can make it with yellow Yuzu.

Green Yuzu kosho is characterized by a refreshing Yuzu flavor and spicy green chili pepper. On the other hand, red yuzu pepper made from yellow Yuzu zest and red chili has a mature and mild spiciness.


*Organic Yuzu is recommended since you’re using the zest.
*If you don’t find fresh peppers, soak dried peppers in water.
*If you make a little amount and will not store it for a long time, you can use less salt.


  1. Wash the yuzu skin well and use a knife to carefully slice off the peel, then cut into small pieces. Try not to get the white parts underneath the skin as it’s very bitter. If you have a microplane or zester, it is easier.
  2. Cut the green pepper in half lengthwise, remove the calyx and seeds, and chop.
  3. Add all ingredients and Yuzu juice to a mortar & pestle (Japanese Suribachi if you have it) or a small food processor. Grind or process until you have a paste.

Let it sit for about a week, and the spiciness will subside and the taste will be deeper.
You can store it in the refrigerator for about a year. As it ages and fermented, the depth of the taste comes out, so you can enjoy it even in the winter of the hot pot season!

There are so many Japanese dishes and cultures that are not well known outside of Japan and I’m happy to introduce them to you! If you tested any of our recipes feel free to send us a photo and your comments and we will be happy to publish them, even if it wasn't a complete success! :)

Seeking the best balance of being free and living a stable life in this busy city, I enjoy kitchen gardening to deepen my connection with nature. Lately, I enjoy traveling to places I’ve never been and dancing Salsa/Kizomba there. Always a traveler at heart. Freelance web/graphic designer. Coffee & chocolate addict.
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