Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that is notorious for its versatility in the kitchen. Aside from being perfect for some recipes and dishes, it can also be eaten raw. If you like Japanese anime or follow Japanese cuisine, you must have heard about this wonderful citrus fruit.
In the early 2000s, yuzu became a favorite in many restaurants. This might have been due to the fact that yuzu has a very vibrant flavor. Aside from the seeds, every other part of the fruit is edible. If you haven’t tasted yuzu, but hope to do so soon, you are reading the right article.
What does yuzu taste like? The taste of the yuzu is tarty and citrusy. It tastes like a mix of Chinese mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit. But, the yuzu is not as astringent as the lemon as it packs more flavor than a lemon would. If you want to eat yuzu raw, you might find it a bit too tarty.
Yuzu doesn’t grow in large sizes. It is small, with an average diameter of 2 to 3 inches. The fruit is green like the lime while it is still unripe but, come autumn when the fruit is ripe, it already has a bright yellow color.
Let’s dive right into how you could use the Yuzu but first, we need to talk about its importance to the human body.
Nutritional Benefits of Yuzu
Yuzu isn’t lacking in the nutrition department. Since it is a citrus fruit, your first guess would probably be that it contains vitamin C. That assumption is right as it does contain vitamin C and a whole lot of other nutrients that would help keep your body in a tip-top shape.
Yuzu contains antioxidants that are famous for keeping inflammation away. These antioxidants could also help keep heart diseases away and promote the general well-being of your heart. It also contains minerals like magnesium and iron. A steady consumption of yuzu would also help to improve blood flow and keep the overall heart rate healthy and normal.
Yuzu can also help reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Improve bone health and protect against everyday illnesses if you incorporate it into your diet.
Culinary Uses Of Yuzu
Yuzu is well famed for its versatility. We might not be able to cover all of that here but, we would talk about the more common adaptations of Yuzu that you would find out there and should try.
When we say versatility, the yuzu is an all-rounder as the skin, the flesh and the juice can all be used in various recipes. Yuzu is used in the making of one of Japan’s popular sauces; the Yuzu Ponzu. This sauce can be drizzled over grilled meat, fish, or a Japanese hot pot.
The yuzu can also be used to make Yuzu-cha, this time around, the peel of the yuzu is being made use of. The tea is made with water that has been infused with the yuzu peel. Then the water is sweetened then drained. In some cases, people make use of powered yuzu peels instead of using the real thing. Yuzu tea is usually made in winter.
Yuzu can be used to add flavor to drinks, as it is used in cocktails too. All you need to do is slice the fruit in half, then press it to extract the juice and the oils from the skin and mix it up with your other cocktail ingredients.
Yuzu can also be used in dishes like the Roast Yuzu Chicken. It can also be used in salad dressings or to flavor soups, and as a garnish for varying recipes. Chefs particularly prefer the zest from the yuzu because it carries a lot more flavor than the juice.
Where is Yuzu Grown? How Can You Procure It?
Yuzu fruit originates from Central China but is now predominantly grown in Japan. Yuzu is also grown in some other places like Korea and the US. But, in the United States, yuzu is only grown in California.
The growth of yuzu commercially in California only started in 1998 when certified bud wood was released to nurseries. Still, it takes 10 years before a yuzu tree starts bearing fruits.
In the United States, the cost of getting fresh yuzu might be a little bit high. They are scarce and it might take a while before you can lay your hands on fresh yuzu. But you might be able to get fresh yuzu in the specialty section of huge supermarkets or Asian markets. If you can’t lay your hands on fresh yuzu, you can get the frozen fruit or yuzu juice.
Why Is Yuzu Fruit Ilegal?
The Department of Agriculture placed a ban on the importation of fresh yuzu fruit and trees concerning possible agricultural diseases. The United States placed this ban to protect American farms from the diseases that are usually common in Asian groves.
Most wholesalers are usually secretive about the source of their yuzu batch. The scarcity of the Yuzu fruit makes it fetch prices of up to $8 to $20 – and that’s at a wholesale price!
Facts You Don’t Know About Yuzu
- The Chinese word for yuzu is Pomelo. But the Japanese name, Yuzu and Korean Yuja is derived from the Chinese name Youzi.
- The scientific name for yuzu is Citrus junos.
- Yuzu is the most popular fruit in Japan.
- Yuzu trees are thorned, so extreme care needs to be taken when harvesting. The thorns on the tree also serve as some sort of protection for the fruit.