Tastes like a bit of each between a lemon, mandarin orange and grapefruit, Yuzu fruit is said to be a little gem of the world.
Yuzu 柚子 ゆず is a seasonal winter fruit in Japan. Somewhere near the south coast of Japan in Kochi 高知県 produces the most within the country. Despite having an exclusive taste, Yuzu fruit isn’t used entirely for eating. Its citrus power releases a tangy and refreshing aroma when is being infused in hot bathwater.
On Touji 冬至 – winter solstice day, there is a tradition for Japanese to have a Yuzu bath. They believe a hot bath all filled with Yuzu fruits would warm them, boost up immune system from winter illnesses and heal skin problems amidst the freezing temperatures.
Japanese have many clever ways of making good use of Yuzu fruits and these have been my favourites so far.
Number 1. Yuzu Marmalade is my all time hot favourite. Since it is so flavourful, there are boundless ways to use it. You can have it with hot tea, yoghurt and even ice cream. I love to have it together with cream cheese when I eat bread and scones too. The combination is way beyond words!
Number 2. Yuzu salad dressing / dipping sauce is a kind of wafu-style sauce. It tastes light yet addictive, with a tinge of unique sourness which can greatly enhance appetite making you take an extra bite without hesitation.
Number 3. Yuzu Peel is a precious part of the Yuzu fruit. Japanese would thinly slice them and add into hot soba or o-shiruko. It’s hard to imagine how those few thin slices of Yuzu peel can do such wonders until you’ve given it a try.
I won’t consider them as rare but they can be scarce at times. One day you might see plenty in the supermarket shelves and the next few days, chances are they might be out of sight completely, even well before the season ends. This winter I grabbed more than I should. I wanted to preserve the fruit so as to enjoy its essence longer, hence a grand total of 15 bottles of Yuzu marmalade I’ve made, ambitiously. I gave a couple of them away, these are what left to see me through the next few weeks, hopefully months. Here’s the recipe :)
How to make Yuzu Marmalade
To make 6 bottles (150ml each)
What You Need
6 large yuzu fruits, approx.700g
700g of granulated sugar
500ml of water
1- Soak Yuzu fruits into a pot of hot water.
Prepare a pot of hot water and wash the yuzu fruits well and thoroughly. Once the water starts to boil, turn off heat and drop in the fruits. Allow them to steam in the pot for 10 minutes or so.
2- Remove fruits from pot.
When time is up, remove the fruits from the pot. You can see they have become rather soft and mushy, a bit like sponge. (The moment I opened the lid, an amazingly delightful, tangy fragrance immediately gushed out – “power of Yuzu”)
3- Scoop out the flesh and seeds
Cut into halves to scoop out the flesh and seeds together with the patchy white membranes. Separate them – place the flesh and seeds into glass pot while the peels on a tray.
4- Boil flesh and seeds with water in a pot.
Fill up the glass pot with 500ml of water together with the flesh and seeds. Bring it to a boil once, then lower down the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Yuzu fruits let out more scum compared to other citrus fruits, try to remove them as much you can.
5- Julienne peels.
While simmering the juice mixture, julienne the yuzu peels into thin strips, about 3mm thickness.
6- Squeeze out juice.
After 30 minutes, remove the pot from heat. Prepare a sieve and place a piece of muslim cloth over, pour out the mixture from the pot. Discard the flesh and seeds, leaving only the juice behind.
7- Combine sugar, peel strips and juice in a pot.
Return the juice back to the glass pot together with the peel strips. Simmer in low heat for 5-10 minutes. Then roughly divide the whole amount of sugar into 3 portions. Pour each portion into the pot separately at a regular interval. Continue to simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture slightly thickens. Once you see the peels getting more translucent you can turn off the heat and allow it to cool. (Your marmalade is almost done!)
8– Sterlise the bottles.
Fill a large pot with water. Immerse the bottles you plan to use in the pot and make sure there are no trapped air bubbles inside them. Then replace the lid and boil for at least 10 minutes. Keep the pot’s lid on until you ready to use the bottles.
9– Starts bottling.
Use the bottles while they are still warm. Place them on a tray. The marmalade should be somewhat cooled by then. You can start bottling by scooping them bit by bit into each bottle. Once all filled, seal the bottles tightly with caps and place them upside down like shown to release any trapped air.
As yuzu are like any other citus fruits, they are acidic. Use a glass pot in step 4.
An ideal marmalade should be a little thick and sticky in texture, though not as thick as jam. It’s normal to be a little runny during bottling, the marmalade will be thickened when completely cooled or chilled.
What do I like about this dish?
The best thing I like about home bottling is I get to preserve food without any nonsense artificial preservatives. Because it’s kind of “fresh” in some way, it’s best to consume as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances, if store in cool and dry place, a well-sealed bottle of marmalade is safe for consumption for at least a month. Once opened, keep it refrigerated and try to finish within a week.
Stay tuned as I’m going make Yuzu Chiffon Cake with these marmalade for my next post. Till then again, see ya !
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* Pictures updated on 31st January 2016.