Food & Wine Magazine: July Cover Recipe

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Yuzu Kosho Pesto

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (my new favourite way to prepare grilled shrimp)

Initial Thoughts: What a fantastic looking recipe – can’t wait to throw these shrimp on the barbie!

The Test: When I was last in my favourite gourmet food store – Well Seasoned – the staff were all raving about this new line of yuzu chili sauces. Trusting their opinion completely, I picked up a bottle, tucked it away in my pantry and proceeded to forget about it until this cover recipe.

Yuzu is an East Asian citrus fruit with a tart flavour that results in the flesh rarely being eaten. Instead, the zest of the aromatic outer rind is used for seasoning various dishes. Yuzu kosho (translated simply as ‘yuzu’ and ‘pepper’) is a spicy Japanese sauce and combines yuzu with either yellow, green or red chili peppers. It is not for the faint of heat! I used Yuzu Pao Sriracha Style Yuzu Citrus Red Chile Sauce, and found it to be extremely hot, spicy and citrusy. Perfect for a pesto marinade for grilled shrimp.

This recipe was created by LA based Chef Ricardo Zarate, a recent winner of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef in America award. It is straightforward and quick to prepare, and consists of marinating the shrimp in a tantalizing pesto of yuzu kosho, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro and olive oil. Are your taste buds watering just imaging the intense flavours? Well they should!

The Results: My biggest pet peeve with barbequing seafood is when the flavour of the marinade is unable to break through the intense taste of grilling. Not the case with this recipe. The shrimp (cooked absolutely perfectly by Mr. Spock) held the flavour of each individual ingredient in a subtle way that also allowed the natural sweetness of the shrimp to shine. During the cooking process most of the spicy heat was loss, resulting in my three year-old being able to scarf down half of the shrimp much to the chagrin of her seafood fearing older sister.

This has definitely become my new favourite way to prepare shrimp on the grill and I know I will be making this recipe again. And again…and again…

NOTE: you can purchase Yuzu Pao Sriracha Style Yuzu Citrus Red Chile Sauce through my online store for $4.99 USD

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Yuzu Kosho Pesto

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magazine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

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