Learn About Yuzu

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Yuzu?

Yuzu is a shrub or tree-grown citrus fruit grown in China, Japan, Korea, and Tibet.  It is sometimes called the Japanese lemon.  Yuzu has a bright yellow rind, yellow flesh inside, and large seeds toward the center of the fruit.  The fruit is similar in size to a tangerine, but its rind is lumpy and bumpy.  Because of its thick rind and large seeds, there is not as much flesh or juice inside of the fruit.  Fresh yuzu has a strong citrus smell, similar to oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.

What Does Yuzu Taste Like?

Fresh yuzu has a strong tart, sour taste.  Because of this strong taste, it is not often eaten raw.  It is similar to a grapefruit and a sour lemon.

Learn About Yuzu

Fresh whole and sliced yuzu fruit in a wooden bowl.

How Do You Eat Yuzu?

Yuzu can be eaten raw or cooked.  The zest and juice are commonly used to flavor dishes similarly to how lemon or lime zest is used.  Popular uses for yuzu include cooked with chicken, baked with scallops or other seafood, and simmered into ramen.  Yuzu juice is frequently used in ponzu sauce and other dipping sauces, salad dressing, and even in marinades.  The juice and zest flavor tea, marmalades, and preserves.  Yuzu may be used in tarts, sorbet, and even cheesecakes.

Where Can You Buy Yuzu?

Fresh yuzu is difficult to find because it is not usually imported.  Some Asian food stores may carry yuzu from September to November.  Yuzu juice and frozen yuzu zest or peels are easier to find, both located in Asian food stores.

How Do You Store Yuzu?

Fresh yuzu fruit can last up to a week stored at room temperature, depending on its level of ripeness.  For yuzu fruit that can last for 2-3 weeks, place in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Yuzu

Yuzu has such a pleasant smell that it is used in perfumes.

Did You Know?

Yuzu is combined with honey to make a syrup for tea and other drinks.

Recipes Using Yuzu

Yuzu Syrup

Create a tangy, sweet syrup to flavor your drinks. Peel and juice yuzu fruits. Combine yuzu juice with honey and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce the liquid over lower heat. Remove from the heat and add in yuzu peels. Cool completely before serving.

Lemon Bars

Create a twist on a classic lemon bar recipe by substituting yuzu. Bake the crust first to give your filling a sturdy base. Mix eggs, flour, sugar, yuzu juice, vanilla, and yuzu zest until combined. Bake until cooked and the filling has set.

Marinaded Chicken

Transform your chicken by soaking it in delicious flavors before cooking. Marinade chicken in yuzu juice, soy sauce, chopped ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bake chicken until cooked and serve with rice.

Yuzu Sorbet

Enjoy your yuzu fruit as a frozen treat. Prepare yuzu syrup in a saucepan as directed and cool completely. Add yuzu juice to syrup mixture and stir until combined. Pour sorbet into a container, seal the lid, and place in the freezer until frozen.


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