One of my favorite farmers (and favorite people) likes to play “Stump the Chef” at every available opportunity. Oh how do I love thee Jaime Sammons, let me count the ways… Thanks to Jaime, I have tasted bletted medlar, fermented wiri wiri peppers, and homemade horseradish vodka. I once ate a jar of her freshly made salsa like it was soup. But Stump the Chef is my favorite - give me something funky to put in my mouth, make it a game, and I am in.
A few weeks ago, Jaime dropped by with a box that contained a couple of jars filled with a truly curious condiment--yuzu kosho. She told me that she was obsessed with these red and green pastes, and has been putting it on everything.
The bottles of yuzu kosho were a revelation - bright and citrusy, spicy hot, and satisfyingly salty. The only question that remained was HOW exactly to best use these tasty pastes. The internet was only moderately helpful. Yuzu kosho is a fermented paste from Japan featuring exactly the ingredients that you might expect: citrus zest and juice, hot chili peppers, and plenty of salt. The Google machine told me that people are adding kosho to soups, using it instead of wasabi, and that it makes a tasty meat marinade but that was about it.
Yuzu is a quirky citrus fruit. It is super aromatic but the flavor of the flesh is extremely tart and sour. Thanks to its pucker-factor, yuzu is primarily used as an ingredient in other dishes, most often featuring zest and juice. In kosho, yuzu zest and juice is paired with chopped thai birds-eye chiles (green for green paste, red for red paste) and salt. The mix is then left for a few days for the fermentation bacteria to do its work. Naturally, I want to make my own since yuzu is basically unavailable in the United States so this experiment will likely involve Meyer lemons or whatever citrus I can find locally.
I know it is unrealistic to expect that you happen to have a funky jar of fermented Japanese chile paste in your pantry. Fortunately, you can replicate the flavor profile of yuzu kosho with citrus zest and chili peppers of your choosing. I will likely be adding a scoop of yuzu kosho to most things moving forward. The recipe here is my first experiment with my new favorite condiment.
Flat Iron Steak Salad with Asian Slaw
Flat Iron Steak - choose the size that is appropriate for your number of portions
2 T miso paste
2 T yuzu kosho - or a mix of citrus zest, chilis, and salt
2 T sake
2 T mirin
2 T water
2 T low sodium soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 Red Bell Pepper - cut into matchsticks
1 Carrot - peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup Sugar Snap Peas - cut in half lengthwise
1 Granny Smith Apple - cut into matchsticks
1 Avocado - peeled and cut into chunks
Mint - large leaves torn
2 Limes - juiced
2 T water
2 T white sugar
2 T fish sauce
Red pepper flakes - to taste
1. Combine Miso paste, yuzu kosho or
zest and chilis, sake, mirin, water, soy,
and brown sugar and mix until smooth.
Place steak in marinade and hold for 4
hours (up to overnight)
2. Cook steak on the grill or in a pan
(stovetop and/or oven) until you reach
desired doneness. Cover with foil and let
rest for 10 minutes.
3. Combine lime juice, water, sugar, fish
sauce, and red pepper flakes.
4. In a large bowl, mix together bell
pepper, carrot, peas, apple, avocado, and
torn mint. Toss with lime dressing and
portion into bowls.
Kelli Kelly - Slinger of Produce. Slurper of Dumplings. Person of the Bean.
Missing my friend Leo 💜