Washoku Wednesday: Yuzu (Japanese Citrus)

Making yuzu cha (yuzu tea) at home

(A huge thanks to Courtney for this latest installment – she and I both share a love of yuzu!)

Yuzu, yuzu, yuzu! I have been so excited about this blog post since I start this series almost a year ago. I absolutely love yuzu and it’s one of the few reasons I would look forward to the cold winter in Japanese homes. The thought of making myself a warm cup of yuzu cha (yuzu tea) or enjoying a yuzu-scented sweet seemed to make the bitter cold bearable.

Yuzu is an Asian citrus that looks like a smaller grapefruit with an uneven surface. Yuzu can be green or yellow depending on its ripeness. It’s incredibly aromatic but typically only the zest or juice are used in Japanese cuisine. The main reason is because the inside is full of seeds making it difficult to get the flesh without it become a mush. Its flavor is similar to lemon with some sweet orange hints in it.

Yuzu zest is used in many Japanese dishes

Yuzu is a traditional ingredient used in several Japanese dishes. Yuzu can be found in flavored miso and pickles. It is one of the key ingredients in ponzu sauce as well yuzu vinegar and yuzukosho (yuzu pepper seasoning). Yuzu is also found in liquors, chu-hais, yuzu sours, and even a yuzu-beer mix. It’s been growing in popularity for cocktails in Japan and upscale American bars.

Yuzu mochi

I love using yuzu and getting creative with it. While I enjoy using it to create traditional Japanese dishes, I also substitute it for lemons to Japan-ize a recipe. For instance, I have made yuzu curd, yuzu smoothies, candied yuzu peels (may be easier to purchase!), and yuzu-scented sweets.

Give yuzu a try and I promise it will have you eagerly looking forward to winter so you can enjoy a cup of yuzu cha!

Yuzu Cha (Yuzu Tea)
Not technically tea, this is its common name in Japan.
1-2 TBSP Yuzu marmalade or Honey with Yuzu peels
Hot Water

Add 1-2 TBSP of yuzu marmalade in a mug. Add 8-12 oz water. Stir until well mixed. Enjoy!

Yuzu Soda
1-2 TBSP Yuzu marmalade
1 can Soda water

Add 1-2 TBSP of yuzu marmalade in tall glass. Add ice and soda water. Stir gently.

Daikon, Carrot and Yuzu Pickles on Food Sake Tokyo
I know I posted this recipe before but when something is so good, how could I resist?!

Pan-fried sole with yuzu wasabi butter on Eat Dangerously
This butter can be used in so many ways…not just fish!

Mushroom Salad with Yuzu Dressing on Bon Appétit
I made this for my Japanese-inspired Thanksgiving meal one year and it was a huge hit!

Yuzu Sorbet on Just One Cookbook
A perfect sorbet to serve before the main course or for dessert.

Tokyo 75 on Set the Table
An Asian twist on the classic French 75 that will impress all your friends at your next dinner party.

Yuzu Marmalade from Just One Cookbook
If you’re feeling ambitious and have access to a lot of yuzu, make your own marmalade.

3 thoughts on “Washoku Wednesday: Yuzu (Japanese Citrus)

Add yours

  1. I absolutely adore the flavour of yuzu! I’m so glad I discovered it, even if the fruit is totally unavailable in the UK and a small bottle of the juice cost almost £10 — worth every penny! I like to use the tea in place of jam or marmalades in traditional British puds to brighten them up.

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