Starter Sisters

Kalamansi “Kosho”

I am a fan of kalamansi. I drink kalamansi juice first thing in the morning, add it to my salad as dressing, use it in sinigang, and as sawsawan, on its own or with soy sauce and sili. So the underutilized jar of preserved kalamansi in my fridge has been haunting me since I made it. Imagine my excitement when I read about the Japanese preserved citrus condiment called kosho.

Traditionally made kosho uses the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu. It’s a multipurpose condiment with a strong flavor, combining chiles and yuzu zest then fermented with salt. It’s usually served with nabe or hotpot as seasoning, and also with meaty or fatty dishes, with the salty sourness and heat cutting through the richness. Here’s a fresh version by Michelin-listed chef Shimizu Akira, and here is an ASMR version.

This “kosho”-style condiment is a riff on that, inspired by it, given we will be using our local lime and one that has already cured in salt. I also added makrut lime leaves to add another layer of fragrance. Other versions online combine different citruses, given yuzu can be hard to get outside Japan, or add garlic, which I can totally get behind.

Make a batch now and add to your arsenal of condiments!



  1. Remove the pulp and the seeds of the calamansi and mince finely. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Slice the chilies in half, remove the seeds, cut into strips, then chop finely. Add to the bowl with the preserved calamansi.
  3. Remove the ribs of the makrut lime leaves if using, then chop finely as well. Add to the bowl.
  4. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the salty brine, kalamansi juice, and sugar.
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