Lime-Scotch bonnet-kosho

Lime-Scotch bonnet-kosho

By
From
Citrus
Photographer
Mowie Kay

This is a Japanese condiment made from very finely chopped yuzu zest and chilli. It’s hot, salty, very sour but with floral notes coming through that really lift it. As it is very difficult to buy fresh yuzu, if you want an authentic yuzukosho, you will probably need to buy it ready-made. However, I have found that you can use the same principles and adapt them to other kinds of chilli and citrus, which is what I’ve done here. If you are lucky enough to find some fresh yuzu, remember that the basic formula is four times the amount of chilli to zest. Then weigh and add 10 per cent of the final weight in salt. This formula can be messed around with as much as you like, depending on the type of chillies you use, with the chilli/zest ratio very adaptable. However, the salt must always be 10 per cent of the total.

To prepare, simply put everything in a food processor or grind with a pestle and mortar. It tastes good from the start, but try to leave it in the refrigerator to ferment gently for a week and the flavour will be vastly improved. After that, it will keep indefinitely.

Here are a couple of examples of my favourite mixes, making relatively small amounts – a little does go a long way, though.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20g finely grated lime zest
5g scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
35g mild-medium-hot red or green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
6g salt

Method

  1. Good for adding a hot/sour note to sweet coconut milk dishes. If you want to make this very hot, just increase the amount of Scotch bonnet chilli and reduce the amount of mild – I have included just a small amount for flavour as opposed to heat.
  2. Once you have some kosho stored in the refrigerator, you can use it in any number of ways. I use it in its pure form as a condiment for soup, or spread on grilled meat or fish. You can turn it into a thinner sauce with some lime juice and a pinch of sugar or honey, and it makes an incredible dipping sauce with soy sauce and juice. You can add other aromatics to it such as garlic and ginger. And if you need to offset the sweetness from other ingredients in your dish, add this kosho to an oil-based dressing – for example, try it with the sweetest, height-of-the-season tomatoes.
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