One night 20 years ago, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, I ordered a bowl of ramen and watched the cook serve a paste alongside the noodle soup that I'd never seen before. It was yuzu kosho. It only has three ingredients: salt, hot pepper, and yuzu, the Japanese citrus, but it's fascinating. It has spice, fragrance, aroma—everything. There are two types: red, made from ripe yuzu and red chiles, and green, from unripe fruit with green chiles. I use the sharper green version to cut through rich meats, and the milder red in seafood dishes, like grilled scallops (right). —Tadashi Ono, Matsuri, New York City
Buy red or green yuzu kosho at Amazon
MORE TO READ
Cultural Calendar: Where to Go and What to Cook in October
From a festival celebrating the world’s most expensive spice to a plant-based extravaganza in Thailand, here’s what our editors are digging into this month.
Welcome to California, Where In-N-Out Is Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
For our culture editor, home is where the Animal-Style fries are.