I love helping BlogHer readers be more healthful cooks with posts about things like organic food, cooking with whole grains, and recipes using flax seed. Since cooking for health is so important to me, I really get excited about discovering ingredients with "wow" flavor but minimal fat or calories. When two of my favorite blogs mentioned Yuzu recently and I was scratching my head, I decided it was time to find out what this new (to me) ingredient was all about.
Yuzu (also called yuju) is a type of Asian citrus fruit that's one of the "in the news" flavors of the last few years. The fruits themselves look like a smaller, more shriveled version of grapefruit, and are rarely found outside of Asia, although they're starting to show up a little bit in the U.S., especially in California. Products like yuzu juice, vinegar, paste, and powder are sold in many parts of the world. Yuzu juice and zest and are used for flavoring in lots of dishes, especially in marmalades, glazes, and dipping sauces. If you've had the Japanese condiment Ponzu sauce, Yuzu is one of the things that creates its distinctive flavor. It's also the primary ingredient in a Japanese condiment called Yuzu Kosho.
Quite a few blogging cooks have come under the Yuzu spell. Amy from Nook and Pantry raves about Citron/Yuzu spread, and describes the flavor as "lemon-like, with hints of lime, grapefruit, and pine." The Breakaway Cook says Yuzu Dethrones the Lemon, but advises using the juice sparingly. Clothilde from Chocolate and Zucchini tried Yuzu Macrons and says Yuzu tastes like a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. Bea from La Tartine Gourmande tries a Yuzu Tartlet in Paris and describes the Yuzu flavor as tart and lemony.
Here's your spring cooking assignment. First, go to your nearest Asian grocery and ask for a bottle of Yuzu juice or marmalade. Bring it home, then choose one of these recipes ideas to help you get your Yuzu mojo going:
From Nook and Pantry, Rugulach, Asianified
From Obachan's Kitchen and Balcony Garden (in Japan): Pork Cutlet with Yuzu Miso and Shiso and Chicken and Lettuce Pasta with Yuzu Kosho
From The Golden Shrimp: Kumquat and Yuzu Brownies
From Jaden's Steamy Kitchen: Baby Back Ribs with Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze
From Kyoto Foodie: Saba Yusu Kosho Nabe
From Food 102: Marshmallows with Yuzu
From Teczcape - An Escape to Food: Citron Honey Chicken
From Ideas in Food: Oysters Draped in Yuzu Vinaigrette
Have you tried cooking with Yuzu in any of it's forms? If you've used Yuzu (try saying that quickly three times) please give us your ideas or a link in the comments.
BlogHer food editor Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen, where she's added Yuzu to her shopping list.
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