The yuzu isn’t a fruit you’ll find often in supermarkets or at farmers markets, but as popular as the apple is in America, the yuzu is equally as popular in Japan. It is a small and yellow or orange citrus fruit, and sometimes people refere it as a Japanese grapefruit. And it also happens to contain a wide range of health benefits that make it especially appealing.
It can be quite tart, so people do not often eat it on its own. However, in Japanese cuisine, the yuzu can lend itself to a wide range of culinary uses. The zest, the juice, and the fruit are all used to flavor or enhance dishes. Its flavor is a combination of lemon, orange, and grapefruit, packing a citrus punch that instantly refreshes your taste buds and awakens that sense of umami.
Yuzu Nutrition and Health Benefits
For starters, yuzu contains a great deal of Vitamin C, much more than any lemon or orange. It also contains a good amount of other essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a lot of antioxidants. It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
Containing two flavanone compounds, hesperidin, and naringenin, the fruit also delivers several health benefits. The fruit can help improve the health of your skin, treat respiratory infections and improve the immune system. Additional flavonoids help to boost the fruit’s anticancer properties. The fruit helps to improve blood circulation and prevent blood clots.
Making a tea using the peel that has been fermented for a few days with honey is a great way to enjoy the strong, enticing flavor and receive its health benefits on a regular basis.
Culinary Uses For Yuzu
Ranging from fragrant candles to soaps and skin moisturizers, various products use the versatile fruit. Spa treatments often use yuzu as well, as the scent helps to soothe, comfort and relieve stress.
But where it really shines is as a component in a dish. Chefs all across the country also are experimenting with yuzu, adding it to sauces and marinades, and accenting salads, soups, fish, and vegetables. It is used to make refreshing cocktails and in creative ways in desserts, such as custards, pies, and sorbet. It has become quite common to use just a little bit of the juice to add a beautifully fragrant bouquet to miso soup and as the citrus component of ponzu sauce, a regular condiment in Japanese restaurants.
As the yuzu’s popularity begins to grow, it is becoming more common in other countries, including the United States. The best chances of finding yuzu are at Asian groceries and supermarkets. Health food establishments might also sell yuzu juice, though it can be a bit on the pricey side. You can find the zest in many Asian groceries, and you might even find a yuzu plant to grow on your own yuzu tree. It is a hardier citrus, capable of surviving the chillier weather.