Yoohoo, Yuzu Citrus! Tasting sunshine in winter

Yuzu Citrus, also known by the more Westernized name of Yuzu Citron, is as synonymous with Japan’s Kochi Prefecture as oranges are with Florida or California, but this unique citrus is largely unknown in the US market. Heard of Ponzu? This citrus-soy sauce is one of the common ways that Yuzu is incorporated into Japanese cuisine.

Describing Yuzu has proved challenging because “like a lemony orange, but not exactly” doesn’t quite capture the complexity of the aroma and flavor. The best descriptions I’ve seen say that it’s a blend of all the best parts of Meyer lemon, blood orange and grapefruit.

We believe that Yuzu can have as great an impact on the US market as blood oranges or mangos. It, along with Buntan (another specialty citrus closer to a grapefruit, but not exactly), are able to add a depth of flavor that can create an awe-inspiring meal that will leave your guests wondering what the secret ingredient is.

Uses

  • Ponzu, salad dressings
  • Honey tea (nearly marmalade)
  • Beverages (10% juice, 50% juice) – better than lemonade!
  • Pure juice (100% juice) – add to seltzer or uzeki, with bonito
  • Desserts (Yuzu cakes or tarts)

One of my favorite ways to use it is as a substitute for lemon juice to brighten up braised kale, or in homemade cranberry sauce. I’m still experimenting with cocktails 😉

Flank steak over braised kale

Flank steak over braised kale

Cranberry sauce with Yuzu

Cranberry sauce with Yuzu