What is Yuzu? .. And Other Japanese Citrus

July 27, 2018

What is Yuzu? Good question! Taste-wise, its somewhere between a lime and a lemon, but has a much more beautiful fragrance. Yuzu is used for main meals, deserts, and of course, mixed in with shoyu (soy sauce) to make condiments like Ponzu. 
However, yuzu isn't the only citrus that grows in Japan... 

Japanese Citrus Varieties



Yuzu juice and Sudachi Juice


Ponzu can contain any of these Japanese citrus, although ponzu is most famous for being made with Yuzu, like this one from Mizkan.

Ponzu can contain (depending on the brand) sudachi, daidai, kabosu, and of course yuzu. In ponzu sauce, dashi (bonito and/or kelp) are added to soy sauce to make a deep refreshing marinade or dressing. Ponzu is often used for shabushabu, nabe dishes, Sashmi, grilled fish and meat. You can also get Aji-Pon, which is a citrus seasoned soy sauce and where the shoyu is the dominating flavour and the yuzu or other citrus fruits are just notes of taste on top.

Yuzu Kosho

Yuzu Kosho

Yuzu kosho is a green chili pepper paste with yuzu citrus. it contains the skin of yuzu and chili pepper. It is pretty salty but gives a great flavour to food. It compliments chicken yakitori and tempura. It also used to add flavour to spaghetti these days in Japan. There are some yuzu kosho flavoured crisps and snacks that are available for purchase too. This kind of pasted pepper is made from kabosu and Shequasar. 

Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi Togarashi

(Shichimi (Japanese 7 spice) contains some citrus too. Sometimes the peel of  Mikan (Japanese mandarin / Satsuma) are used as one of the spices in shichimi. Shichimi adds colour and a fiery kick to noodle and rice dishes, soups, tempura and more.

Shio Yuzu

Shio Yuzu

Shio Mikan / Shio Yuzu are quite new condiments in Japan. How it is made is, citrus pickled in salt. It gives sweet fruity / salty flavour to food. 

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