Many people know yuzu citrus by now. You may have seen it on a menu of desserts or cocktails, or you may have already tasted the zesty flavor of yuzu citrus. Other Japanese citrus fruits are worth trying as well. In fact, chefs and restauranteurs worldwide are already experimenting with unique flavors of Japanese citrus such as sudachi, kabosu, daidai, and shikuwasa.
However, have you ever heard of Naoshichi Sudachi? Read on to find out about a whole new flavor of naoshichi sudachi, the rarest of Japanese citrus from Kochi prefecture that would surely be the next flavor of Japanese citrus!
Japanese Citrus Fruits
Just like Western cuisine uses lemon and lime to add flavors to various dishes, Japan has its variety. Even though Japan is a small country, Japan has more than forty kinds of unique citrus fruit due to the island climate and abundance of nature. Below are the five most popular citrus fruits used in Japan.
From the outside, kabosu looks similar to mandarin orange but with green skin. It’s a specialty product from Oita prefecture and has a pretty acidic and tart flavor. You can enjoy it as a seasoning for hot pot dishes or vinegared foods.
Slightly greener than yuzu citrus on the outside, you can often see this fruit on top of “Kagami-mochi” during Japan’s New Year’s celebration. Available between October and December, the fruit often comes from farms in Shizuoka and Wakayama prefectures.
Shikuwasa is a special fruit of Okinawa prefecture. Appearing similar to Kabosu, the inside is more orange in color. Unlike other citrus fruits listed here, Shikuwasa has a slight sweetness to its taste. You can enjoy it with fried dishes, or you can even drink it as juice.
Yuzu is already gaining popularity in the United States. This tart and sour fruit has a vivid fragrance, and the application is endless. From tangy vinaigrette to refreshing summer drinks, you can even use its skin as garnishment.
Sudachi is a citrus fruit of Tokushima prefecture. It has a milder acidity than yuzu citrus, and it goes well as a garnishment to cold noodle dishes or salads. You can even taste a “sudachi beer” if you’re looking for a new flavor!
Is Naoshichi Sudachi the Same as Yuzu Citrus?
Naoshichi Sudachi is a kind of sudachi citrus fruit, but quite different from yuzu citrus. While yuzu has high acidity and a strong bitter aftertaste, Naoshichi sudachi is much milder and has a more delicate flavor profile. According to Chef Ito of Tsukasa, Naoshichi has a perfect blend of acidity, tartness, bitterness, and sweetness. Because of this, Naoshichi adds mellow and refreshing flavor to Japanese dishes and other cuisines such as French and Italian.
Try Naoshichi Sudachi Citrus at Home
Naoshichi citrus is produced in Kochi prefecture and has a limited production per year. Therefore, it’s extremely rare to find fresh fruit even in Japan. However, you can now try this rare fruit at home with our products!
Naoshichi Citrus Juice
Tsukasa, the originator of Tosa Dish of Kochi prefecture, has its original naoshichi citrus juice, and now you can purchase it from Umami Insider! You can always substitute yuzu with naoshichi, and there are many ways to use this unique citrus product. Just sprinkle a few drops of naoshichi citrus juice to your steamed vegetables, like sweet potato or pumpkin, and you can add a new flavor. The color of the juice deteriorates quite quickly, so it’s suggested to finish using the product within one month from opening.
Tsukasa’s Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu sauce is a Japanese citrus vinaigrette. Yuzu is often the main citrus ingredient for ponzu sauce, but Tsukasa’s ponzu sauce uses both yuzu and Naoshichi citrus fruit. Due to the heavenly mixture of yuzu and Naoshichi sudachi, Tsukasa’s ponzu is not as sweet as a typical ponzu sauce. It’s a perfect sauce to keep a spotlight on the natural taste of the ingredient itself rather than adding an overpowering flavor.
You can enjoy this as a dipping sauce to various hot pot dishes and pour it over baked fish or sashimi. Pick your favorite fish and season with salt and pepper. Rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator and wipe dry with paper towels before roasting. Serve with plenty of Tsukasa’s ponzu. You can even eat wagyu steak with a side of wasabi paste to create a fusion steak at home.
How to Use Naoshichi Citrus Juice
You can always substitute yuzu with Naoshichi juice, but there are other ways you can enjoy this unique citrus! Here are a few ways you can use Naoshichi juice, according to Chef Ito of Tosa Ryouri Tsukasa restaurant.
- Naoshichi sudachi juice has a vibrant yellow color. If you mix a little bit to cake batter or fresh cream when making whipped cream, you can have a beautiful yellow cake (with a hint of juicy Naoshichi flavor!)
- In Kochi prefecture, sushi rice is made with yuzu citrus instead of sushi vinegar. If you mix Naoshichi juice and yuzu juice, you can make mellower sushi rice that’s slightly elegant in flavor.
Make Naoshichi Sudachi Salad Dressing
Chef Ito also shared with us his recipe for making easy yet delicious salad dressing. Check out our recipe video to serve this new salad dressing at your next dinner party!
Naoshichi Citrus Dressing
- In a bowl, mix grated onion and dashi powder.
- Add pepper and rice vinegar. Mix well.
- Pour in naoshichi juice. Mix well.
- Add olive oil slowly and gradually while mixing.
- Continue mixing until done, and enjoy with your favorite salad!