Living in urban areas provides great access to foods and seasonings from all over the world. Living anywhere with internet access gives you an even wider range of options. Sometimes I feel like I will never taste everything just from one shop, let alone our entire exotic, endangered earth. It’s a daunting and exciting part of being alive in these widely traded times.
I finally spotted Yuzu Kosho in its long standing corner in my favorite Japanese market after seeing well traveled and excellent cook friends playing with it on their hashtag #jescipes. It was the best food day of this year for me. A fermented paste of Thai chilis, salt, and the zest of the potent yuzu citrus make up the treasured ingredients list, you may just freak out at how it lights up your taste buds with just a tiny dab. I’ve since been putting it on a very large variety of foods, and its easy to stock up online if I run out without a shop on hand. Here’s the best ones for a cannabis cook.
Roy Choi Ramen
Ready in moments and much richer than your usual instant soup, chef Roy Choi’s iteration of ramen is a great landing strip for some extra sour and spice, and even includes a pat of butter that’s swappable for some cannabutter. Prepare your favorite instant ramen according to package. With one minute left in the cooking time, lower the heat and stir in ½ tsp of Yuzu Kosho with the seasoning packet (use less if you’re watching the salt) before you crack in an egg and pile the noodles over the top to help poach it.
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Let 1 tablespoon of cannabutter* float in the hot broth while the egg cooks, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer into a bowl, lay a sheet of American cheese over the top, and sprinkle on some scallions, dried fried onions, and black sesame seeds. You will never make ramen the same way again thanks to Choi, and this tweak with yuzu is packed with terpenes that can help enhance your high.
Another soup but hey it’s fall! I make mine vegan with Quorn Chk’n tenders, which are super yummy and made from mycoprotein, but you can go ahead and chicken it up if you are a bird eater. Sautée about 2 cups of mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion) with a few cloves of garlic in 4 tablespoons of cannabutter* on gentle heat until translucent.
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Lightly brown the protein amidst the veggies, and top with 6 cups of either broth or water. Season with salt if you’re using water, and consider dropping in some veggie bullion to amp up the savory, even if you’re using meat. Add spices you like, but remember that Yuzu Kosho will be very standalone, so I would keep it minimal. Simmer for one hour, stir in 1 tsp Yuzu Kosho, and portion into four servings for a solid experience at about 10mg.
Tofu already has a special place in Japanese cuisine, but scrambled with nutritional yeast and turmeric is an American vegetarian staple. It mimics eggs but also has a satisfying appeal on anything from tacos to chili. Drain a block of tofu for 30 minutes before breaking into chunks.
Sear on all sides in a pan with olive oil and then add chopped garlic and shallot. Break up the tofu chunks into smaller pieces and continue to brown it. When you have some crust going, stir in 2 Tbs cannabutter, ½ tsp Yuzu Kosho and 1 Tbs nutritional yeast. Once it’s mixed well, you’re ready to serve two people with a tasty egg replacer or meal filler and a nice 10mg.
Green Curry Noodles
Such a good quick meal, this Americanized Thai curry with pasta was something I found on a blog years ago that legitimately blew me away tastewise. Instead of making a full curry with meats and vegetables, you’re really making a creamy pasta sauce that is vibrantly spicy and warms you to the core. Bring salted water to a boil. Fry ⅓ can green curry paste in a pan, then add 3 chopped shallots and a few minced cloves of garlic with a dash of coconut oil.
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When the water is boiling, add desired pasta (I used whole wheat soba) and cook for manufacturer’s instructions for al dente. Add 4oz coconut milk to the curry, along with a handful of basil leaves and 1 Tbs cannabis infused coconut oil*. Season with a healthy dash of oyster mushroom sauce or your favorite salty stir fry base. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Toss until coated, serve garnished with cilantro and you’re getting three servings of 12mg THC.
This rice and cutlet combo is a knockout for a decently quick mean that you can call comfort food. It’s a takeout classic for a reason. Toss 1 cup steamed sushi rice with ½ tsp Yuzu Kosho and 1 tsp cannabis infused sesame oil. Plate with your favorite breaded cutlet and garnish with a splash of soy sauce and some Furikake seasoning.
*Cannabis Infused Oil or Butter
Decarboxylate 3.5g of finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees for 20 minutes in a tightly sealed, oven safe container. Put cannabis in lidded mason jar or vacuum sealed bag with cannabis and one stick of butter or ½ cup oil. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill to use in recipes. Try this on French fries or a yummy kale salad, it pretty much goes anywhere you’d put salty, citrus and heat. SO fragrance and yummy that it keeps making its way out of the counter and into everything I eat, and it kicks up the experience just so when mixed with THC, they fit like puzzle pieces!
Photos: Danielle Guercio