A little yuzu kosho—the fermented Japanese condiment made of red or green chiles, salt, and fragrant yuzu juice and zest—spins classic ranch dressing into another realm. Traditionally served alongside yakitori or hot pot in Japan, it’s now a flavor permutation in lots of things, from potato chips to salad dressings. The green sort skews spicier than the red, and a little dab will do you. My go-to happens to be the most commonly available brand, S&B. Find it next to all the other condiments in a Japanese grocery store, or order it online from MTC Kitchen (my favorite source for quality Japanese ingredients and kitchen goods).
This dressing is spicy, creamy, and incredibly versatile. Drizzle it over a grain bowl, bathe crunchy vegetables in it for an afternoon snack, or pour it on a wedge of iceberg lettuce. My very favorite way to use this yuzu ranch is pooled on a plate beneath thick slices of tomatoes brushed with olive oil, crushed garlic, and a faint sprinkle of crunchy salt. Spooned over slices of toasted baguette, it’s way more delicious than the sum of its parts. This treatment would also work wonders for cucumbers, roasted beets, grilled mushrooms, or burnished chunks of roast chicken. The MSG is optional, technically, but I always add it in. It brings a rounded, hard-to-put-a-finger-on-it savoriness. Hence why you’ll find it in all kinds of snack foods and dressings, including bottles of Hidden Valley’s Original Ranch. —Shilpa Uskokovic
finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
finely chopped fresh chives
finely chopped fresh dill (leaves and tender stems)
finely chopped fresh parsley (leaves and tender stems)
Kosher salt, to taste
In This Recipe
Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of cold water, yuzu kosho, lemon zest, and garlic powder in a small bowl until smooth. Add the chopped herbs and MSG (if using). Season to taste with salt. You can add up to 2 tablespoons of additional water, if needed, to get the dressing to your desired consistency. This dressing will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
Shilpa Uskokovic is recipe developer, food writer and budding food stylist and photographer. She was previously a line and pastry cook in some of NYC's top rated restaurants like Marea, The NoMad Hotel, Maialino and Perry Street.
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Shilpa loves books, Bundt cakes, cute Basset Hounds and peak millennial memes. She was born and raised in Chennai, India.