Yuzu is a wonderful East Asian citrus fruit, not yet well established in the U.S. Once yuzu groves here become thriving producers we should be getting our hands on unlimited numbers of them. Just as yuzu hasn’t fully made its way into the United States, the grapefruit wasn’t introduced into this country until 1885.
Think about the interesting citrus we now have besides oranges, lemons, limes more popular now than ever before. We have Meyer lemons, blood oranges, mandarin oranges and our new entrant, yuzu, related to the mandarin, resembling a small grapefruit and having an uneven skin. Like our lemons and limes, the yuzu is not eaten as a plain fruit, but its juice and rind or zest flavor very many of our dishes.
The Yuzu’s lineage dates back 1200 years where it originated in China in the Yangtze River region, then moved gradually to Japan by way of Korea. The Japanese valued the yuzu not only in cooking, but for hot bathing and treating the sick. The wood from its trunk is used to make Asian musical instruments.
Forms of yuzu:
Yuzu juice is available now in the U.S. in bottles or in powdered form.
Yuzu paste is salted and contains chile, making it spicy.
Yuzu Kosho sauce is also made from zest, chile and salt.
Use yuzu rind and juice as you would any citrus product:
With honey in tea
Yuzu Sour Cocktail