If you’re trying to eat wheat- or gluten-free (like me—I have a wheat sensitivity), you pretty much have to write off prepared Asian-style dressings or sauces because they usually contain shoyu, which contains wheat. Artizen by MW comes to the rescue with its yuzu kosho vinaigrette. Made with tamari (wheat-free shoyu), rice-wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, tons of sesame seeds and the spicy Japanese paste of chile, yuzu peel and salt called yuzu kosho, it’s a little bit sweet, little bit spicy and little bit citrusy, and 100 percent great salad dressing or marinade.
It’s become an essential part of my condiment arsenal since I discovered it a couple of months ago in the dessert-packed glass case at Artizen by MW, on the ground floor of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.
When you get to the cashier, be sure you ask for the sauce by its full name. There was no sign in the case the last time I bought it and I asked for the “yuzu vinaigrette.” “Shtrawberry?” the cashier asked me. “No, the brown salad dressing with sesame seeds.” “Shtrawberry?” “Um, no, the jar with sauce that is brown—you put it on salad, over here in the case,” I said as I pointed. I was running out of ways to describe the stuff I wanted, and she made no move to look at what was in the case, just looked serenely at me repeating “shtrawberry.” I knew she had to be an auntie or mom or godmother of the top MW brass. At last a light went off. “Oh, yuzu kosho?” “Yes!”