It’s been used in Asian cookery for centuries, now yuzu is flavouring menus and recipes the world over – it was even a winning ingredient in this year’s Master Chef. But what exactly is yuzu and how can you try it? We reveal all…
It’s all about yuzu
Popular in Japan and Korea (where it’s known as yuja), yuzu is a medium sized, yellow citrus fruit that looks like a knobbly lemon. It tastes a bit like lemon too, crossed with mandarin and grapefruit, and has a very sharp, tangy flavour with hints of blossom.
It’s too sour to eat as it is but adds a wonderful tang to both sweet and savoury dishes. It can go in anything from Japanese ponzu sauce, salad dressings and fish glazes to jellies, tarts and teas. It also brings the zing to some knockout cocktails. More on this later.
While yuzu’s mostly used in cooking, in Japan it’s also used for hot bathing on the winter solstice. The citrusy aroma helps to relax, relieve stress and soothe aches, and is thought to ward off colds.
The fact it has 3 times as much vitamin C as a lemon might have something to do with it. Yuzu also boasts other antioxidants like vitamin A and plant compound such as limonoids and flavonoids, which may help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
Yuzu fruit is pretty tricky to get hold of in the UK and if you do find it, it’s eye-wateringly expensive. Bottled yuzu juice is your best bet, which is becoming more available in certain supermarket chains, Asian grocery stores and online.
An opened bottle of yuzu will need to be used up within four weeks so line up some fabulous yuzu recipes to help you savour every last drop. We’ve selected a few belters to start you off on your yuzu taste journey so read on.
Yuzu is a staple ingredient in ponzu sauce, a popular Japanese dressing or dip. Recreate the magic at home with this recipe for tempura courgettes with ponzu dipping sauce.
That yummy citrus tang works wonders with fish. Try it in eggs Royale with smoked trout and yuzu hollandaise or salmon with buttered leeks and yuzu dressing.
Sweet treats and drinks
As it packs a citrus punch, it’s no surprise that yuzu works a treat in some of our favourite lemony desserts. Take this fabulous lemon curd with yuzu, delicious in a cake but just as good on toast! Or try this simple but scrummy yuzu tart.
For something extra special, look no further than these yuzu daiquiri cheesecakes. Or make life easy with candied yuzu peel, available to buy online. Use as an extra ingredient in cakes, ice creams and other desserts or add as a topping to give classic puds an exotic twist.
As for those cocktails we mentioned earlier, serve up this citrusy spectacular and yuzu will be the toast of the evening. Cheers!