Often times, you will see green and red yuzu koshos side by side at Japanese markets, and even here at Umami Mart. We get asked all the time "What's the difference between the red and green yuzu kosho?"
The green yuzu kosho (ao kosho) uses green chiles. It has a satisfyingly coarse texture that reveals grains of salt, yuzu zest, and green chile pieces that are mashed and mixed together. The green chile imparts a sharper, brighter, grassy flavor and the spiciness is complemented by the tartness of the yuzu. The green kosho is a little bit more common than its red counterpart and is great in tiny amounts on chicken, fish, and on avocado. It can also highlight other fresh herbs.
The red yuzu kosho (aka kosho) uses red chilis. It is a little bit more smooth and saucy in texture than the green yuzu kosho, even though it still has salt and yuzu peels. I find the red kosho is a little less spicy than the green yuzu kosho, but has a spice that hang around longer in the mouth. The texture is juicier and has an element of tartness you'd get from a fresh tomato. Red kosho is great integrated into a sauce, blended with tarako (cod roe), or eggs.
To celebrate the differences of the two koshos, I enjoyed them two ways in a pasta.
2 servings of pasta (I used Gemelli)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 anchovy fillets
1 tsp green yuzu kosho
1 tsp red yuzu kosho
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Prepare water for boiling past by adding a tbsp of salt into a large pot full of water.
2. Meanwhile, combine anchovy, garlic and olive oil in a large pan over medium low heat. Heat until the garlic browns slightly, then turn off the heat.
3. Once the pasta has boiled, raise in a collander and transfer to the pan. Toss with the garlic mixture.
4. Plate the pasta onto two plates.
5. Garnish one plate with green yuzu kosho and parlsey. Squeeze a wedge of lemon and grate parmesan cheese over it.
6. Garnish the other plate with red yuzu kosho and pepper flakes. Squeeze a wedge of lemon and grate parmesan cheese over it.
7. Toss the pasta to integrate the yuzu kosho and garnished when enjoying.
I liked serving these two pastas side-by-side to enjoy the different characteristics of the yuzu koshos. Each is very unique and surprisingly great on pasta. It's a perfect, quick, weeknight meal that'll give you the spice you crave.