Yuzu - Spice from the citrus fruit
Yuzu is a yellow citrus fruit, the size of which ranges between a mandarin and an orange. However, it is more like a mandarin, quite bumpy and with large seeds in the flesh. Yuzu has a lot of vitamin C and is very healthy.
The Yuzu season is in winter. Yuzu originates from China and reached Japan and Korea at the time of the Tang Dynasty. Even today it is often used in Japanese and Korean cuisine. Yuzu has an extremely complex, unique aroma that is difficult to put into words. Its taste is similar to that of lemon and mandarin. Yuzu is a bit bitter and sour, as it is a citrus fruit, but also very, very aromatic. Also the skin of Yuzu has a strong aroma. If you're not familiar with the taste of Yuzu, it can seem very strange to you. As children, neither my brothers nor I liked Yuzu because the fruit tastes so different, but I've come to appreciate the taste. Just as wine, beer, and olives taste a bit of a habit when you drink or eat them for the first time!
Yuzu is hardly eaten alone, but rather used as a seasoning. They are available as tea, as spice (refined with chili), as juice and as soft drink. There are also sweets with Yuzu aroma. Yuzu is also used as a bath salt - you can buy various bath additives with Yuzu scent, or add the fruit itself to the water, which smells really good. But since this is a food blog, I don't want to go into it any further:)
Yuzu in food preparation
Yuzu is often used to refine Ponzu (sauce) for Nabe (stew). The saucepan is placed directly on the table, the cooked ingredients are opened and refined with ponzu. There is a classic nabe version without yuzu, but the version with yuzu is very popular because vegetables, meat and fish in the nabe take on the special aroma of yuzu. The yuzu fruit is also very popular in gourmet cuisine because of its complex aroma. Gourmet chefs all over the world - even in Germany - use Yuzu for their dishes. Usually, however, only the abrasion of the skin of the fruit is used.
In Japan, yuzu is very often an important ingredient for desserts. Dried or powdered yuzu is used in cakes, biscuits and jams. There are also yuzu extracts, pastes, powder, purees and yuzu vinegar. There is also Koscho (which means "pepper" in Japanese). This is a seasoning paste consisting of grated yuzu peels, chilli and salt, which is used, for example, to season meat dishes.
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