My housemates back in college used to talk about suffering from condimentia. When it comes to spicy, so do I. And how. The fridge is loaded with Sriracha, harissa, Tapatio, Korean pepper paste and Thai chile sauce.
You know I like spicy. The hotter the better is my quiet motto. I don't just sprinkle crushed red pepper on my pizza, I am compelled to add habanero flakes. I'd like to eat at Jitlada and Chung King on a weekly basis, just to satisfy my heat needs.
So when I find a new condiment that satisfies my cravings for fire, I am pretty well delighted. This time, I can thank the Japanese. Yuzu Kosho or yuzu pepper paste isn't punishingly hot. The heat of green chile is balanced by the citrusy tang of yuzu and an ample dose of salt. Yuzu-Kosho has a slow savory burn.
I picked up a little jar of the paste at McCall's Meat & Fish Company in Los Feliz a few months ago. I'm now well into my third. I see you can purchase it on Amazon, but I can't vouch for the brand simply because I haven't tried it. No doubt you'll find it at thoroughly stocked Asian markets.
The pickle-green condiment would be stunning in ceviche. It really is gorgeous on fish. I roasted some Bass coated with olive oil, lemon juice, and Yuzu Kosho on high heat and it turned out beautifully. You don't want to overdo it with the pepper paste, so as to avoid overwhelming the delicate flavor of the fish. Very nice on chicken too!
In the end, my favorite way to enjoy Yuzu Kosho is with beef. The bloody meat is carried to an entirely new level thanks to the salt, heat and acid of the pepper paste. I liberally spoon it onto rare steaks, and -- this may sound nuts -- I love it on hamburgers. A couple dollops right on the charred meat, just below the grilled onions. Divine.