by Jacob Schiffman
I came across the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu during a sushi bar crawl almost 10 years ago. It’s really tart, with a complex, tangy flavor that’s part grapefruit and lemon, part orange, and all delicious. You can use the rind, the juice or both.
The first time I had yuzu, it added sharp tartness to a mayo-based sauce for hamachi (yellowtail). I then started seeing it in condiments for tempura-fried foods, dipping sauces for french fries at bars, on specialty cocktail menus and even in fancy pastries. Chefs ask for it all the time on Iron Chef America — while they mostly ask for the yuzu juice, in my experience as a buyer for Food Network, I’ve seen everything from yuzu marmalade and yuzu mayo to yuzu candy and yuzu vinegar. And sometimes (rarely) I’ve seen fresh yuzu in markets (pictured above) in the late fall through early winter. No matter the format, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more yuzu in the future.
How do you yuzu? Tell us in the comments below.