Fish Tacos with Yuzu Kosho Slaw

Over the years, I’ve learned about various chile peppers from around the world, starting with my introduction to Mexican cuisine. Then, thanks to online shopping, I now have chile peppers from Peru. China, and Turkey. So much fun, cause we love spicy!

So when I saw a book entitled Red Hot Kitchen by Diana Kuan, published in 2019, I had to buy it. Inside the book cover is this: “In this completely unique cookbook, culinary instructor and food write Diana Kuan offers a flavorful education in the art of cooking with homemade Asian hot sauces. From Thai Sriracha to Indonesian sambal to Korean gochujang and other fiery favorites.”

The informative introduction in the book is fascinating. For example, did you know that Gochu chiles are used in Gochujang?! I had no idea gochujang had any chile peppers in it.

The chapters are divided by hot sauces, 9 in all, and recipes for making them from scratch. Following are recipes using that hot sauce, such as sambal oelek and nam prik pao.

One sauce caught my attention – Japanese yuzu kosho. I’ve seen yuzu on cooking shows before – it’s hard to find in the US according to Ms. Kuan. The yuzu fruit looks like a rounder, bumpier lemon, and the flavor is a cross between Meyer lemons and lime.

Yuzu kosho is made with Meyer lemons, limes, yuzu juice, jalapenos, and salt, to create a pesto-like paste. Because I’m impulsive, I went to Amazon and purchased a jar of yuzu kosho sauce. Then I decided to purchase yuzu juice as well. You can use the bottled juice and make yuzu kosho using the recipe at the end of this post. But hopefully one day I’ll find fresh yuzu.

From the book, I chose to make fish tacos topped with yuzu kosho slaw.

Spicy Fish Tacos with Yuzu Kosho Slaw

2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, grated
3/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise
3 tablespoons yuzu kosho, shake well
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

16 corn tortillas
1 pound firm white fish filets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 avocados, thinly sliced
Cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish
2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges, for serving

Make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and carrot. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yuzu kosho, rice vinegar, and salt. Add the dressing to the slaw and let sit while you continue with the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 30 degrees F. Wrap the tortillas in 4 stacks of 4 tortillas each in roil. Warm the tortillas in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. (Or use a microwave with low power.)

When you’re ready to cook, lay the fish fillets on a clean work surface and brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the cumin, chipotle powder, salt, and black pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil per batch and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the fish fillets and sear until lightly golden on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets and sear on the second side until the fish is opaque and cooked through, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm while you sear the next batch.

On a clean work surface, use a fork to shred the fish. Lay out the tortillas in 8 stacks of 2 each (doubling up the corn tortillas makes each taco sturdier).

Divide the fish, yuzu slaw, and avocado slices to make 8 tacos. Top with cilantro and serve with limes for squeezing.

I wasn’t that impressed with the yuzu kosho slaw. I’m sure if yuzu kosho is made with fresh yuzus, it’s much better. Or, just mix the Kewpie with lime juice and some hot sauce.

Yuzu Kosho

4 Meyer lemons
2 limes
1/4 cup yuzu juice
2 fresh green jalapeños
1/2 teaspoon salt

Zest the Meyer lemons and limes until you have about 1/2 cup of zest. In a mortar or food processor, combine the zest, juice, jalapenos, and salt. Grind until you have a rough yellowish green paste with a texture similar to pesto. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for 2 or 3 days for the flavors to develop. The yuzu kosho will last in the fridge 1 to 2 months.

By Published On: August 4th, 202226 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. angiesrecipes August 4, 2022 at 7:10 AM - Reply

    Such a delicious fusion meal! The slaw looks so crunch and really refreshing.

    • Chef Mimi August 4, 2022 at 5:13 PM - Reply

      The slaw was good, just not fabulous. Still, it was fun to make, and fish tacos are always wonderful.

  2. David Scott Allen August 4, 2022 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    I love this, Mimi — fish tacos are my favorite! I know how hard it was to find plain yuzu juice (bottled) even in out large Asian grocery – it was always combined into a dressing. Finally, bought it online. Like you, I will keep looking for the fresh yuzu fruit!

    • Chef Mimi August 4, 2022 at 5:12 PM - Reply

      The fresh fruit has to taste better than the bottled juice. I just wasn’t impressed. But I’ll keep looking like you.

  3. Sherry M August 4, 2022 at 6:48 PM - Reply

    we love spicy foods in our house. I always have a jar of gochugaru in the pantry, and i use it in many dishes. such a nice mild heat. and i love yuzu. not easy to get it here in anything other than sauces and dressings. i haven’t seen the actual fruit but it’s probably around in asian stores. i use way too much of yuzu kewpie! Love me a fish taco! this sounds tasty mimi.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      Kewpie is so good and I can’t wait to find actual yuzus. Gochugaru is fabulous. Such a unique flavor and like you said, veery versatile.

  4. Healthy World Cuisine August 4, 2022 at 7:07 PM - Reply

    Love this Japanese – TEX mex idea. Yuzu juice is so delicious. Don’t you just love experimenting with different sauces and condiments. Adds a little spice to the usual routine.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:50 AM - Reply

      I do love experimenting! But I need to get my hands on the actual fruit. The yuzu koshu by itself was bland to me.

  5. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 4, 2022 at 10:53 PM - Reply

    I also want to try fresh yuzu, but I doubt we will visit Japan. I might ask my cousin to look for them in Australia. She can bring some back in her suitcase.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      They can’t just grow in Japan, can they?! I’m going to try some Asian markets next.

  6. Pauline August 5, 2022 at 1:52 AM - Reply

    Fish tacos are delicious, and make a wonderful change of theme. Yours look delicious Mimi, but I would be happy with the coleslaw made with kewpie and lime juice and a hint of chile. I think the fresh fruit juice always tastes better, if you can get it. I’ll keep an eye for yuzu as well. Nice post, thanks

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      I completely agree. Although I do more than a hint of chile! We like spicy here. I think the fresh yuzu would be much better. It just makes sense.

  7. Carrie Tyler August 5, 2022 at 5:42 AM - Reply

    Mimi, these fish tacos look and sound amazing! Love the Yuzu Kosho addition.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      It was interesting, but I ended putting in more lime juice, some sour cream, and tabasco sauce!

  8. BERNADETTE August 5, 2022 at 6:47 AM - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and your tip on the slaw.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2022 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  9. Debra August 5, 2022 at 7:28 PM - Reply

    I love fish tacos with a good slaw, and this is unique to me. I’ve seen Yuzu hot sauce at my local Trader Joe’s but walked right on by! The recipe for the Yuzu Kosho looks fantastic and I’m going to be curious to see what I can find. There are several Asian markets near me and they might carry yuzu. That would be a great find. Great recipe, Mimi.

    • Chef Mimi August 6, 2022 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      Well I would have walked right by as well. Their products are typically very good, but I’m not sure this one is a good example of basically yuzu blended with jalapeño. I’ll keep looking for the fruit!

  10. Ann Coleman August 5, 2022 at 10:00 PM - Reply

    I love fish tacos, and these sound delicious! What a great recipe!

    • Chef Mimi August 6, 2022 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      I still remember the first time I had fish tacos. the idea felt so foreign to me!

  11. Frank Fariello August 6, 2022 at 10:33 AM - Reply

    Looks fabulous, Mimi. I’ve been on a Mexican kick lately and I’m definitely going to tackle fish tacos soon. I’m intrigued about Yuzu, which I’ve never come across. Going to be on the lookout for them.

  12. Ben | Havocinthekitchen August 6, 2022 at 7:23 PM - Reply

    I might not be a huge fan of spicy food and various hot peppers (My highest level I could handle is probably jalapeños lol) But based on the description, this dish is something I can handle. It looks super tasty and vibrant, too!

    • Chef Mimi August 7, 2022 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Well, jalapenos are pretty hot! Sometimes blended with other herbs or ingredients they’re easier to take. Without the seeds, too.

  13. Gerlinde August 6, 2022 at 11:19 PM - Reply

    I will definitely make the Yuzu sauce since I have a Meyer lemon tree and I love trying out different sauces

    • Chef Mimi August 7, 2022 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      My friend has a golden touch with potted citrus trees that she brings in during the winter, and she’ll bring me some when the Meyer lemon tree is flourishing. You’re so lucky! but then, you live in California. Even when I lived in Bakersfield, my backyard was orange trees. what a wonderful smell!

  14. Roz August 7, 2022 at 12:40 PM - Reply

    I haven’t made fish tacos this summer yet, and your recipe reminded me how delicious they are and to get on the stick and prepare them. Thanks for sharing your yummy version, Mimi!

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