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Yuzu-mania

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My favorite flavor in the world is yuzu. I remember vividly the first time I tried a dish with yuzu in it -- at Nobu, naturally -- how vivid and tart it was. Since then I've made a point of seeking out restaurants that serve yuzu-flavored ANYTHING.

There are tons of great options in New York, where numerous chefs seem to be enamored of yuzu. I recently had lunch at Perry Street where I had the bluefin tuna burger with yuzu pickles, the white chocolate mousse with yuzu sorbet, and housemade yuzu-cherry soda to drink. It was a yuzu hat trick!

I wanted to know if my fellow chowhounds had any other good yuzu discoveries to share.

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  1. You might want to check out something called "yuzu kosho", which is a Japanese condiment from the Kyushu area. It's made of yuzu zest, chili pepper, and sea salt. It's similar in consistency to a relish or a fine chutney. I just encountered it for the first time in Fukuoka, Japan, and fell in love with it. It has a complex flavor for such simple ingredients. I picked up a jar there, but it might be available at some of the Japanese markets around town or at Mitsuwa. I believe the izakaya "Rockmeisha" ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... ) in the WV serves Kyushu foods, so you might want to check them out for dishes that are served with this or with yuzu in general.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Silverjay

      Ooh, I love that condiment. At Go in the East Village, they serve a dish with eel over rice, served with a green tea soup that you pour on top of the bowl. It's lovely, and they serve the yuzu kosho on the side as a condiment along with pickled daikon and wasabi.

    2. Katagiri & Sunrise Mart have both sorts of yuzu koshu. Korean stores may have it too, but I've never seen fresh yuzu at those places. It's in season about now, so the Japanese places should have that too.

      1. Hedeh on Great Jones St between the Bowery and Lafayette has a nice happy hour featuring, among other things, a nice selection of drinks that use yuzu.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Clare Dedlock

          Yep, I'm a big fan of the yuzu margarita at Hedeh. I love Hedeh generally -- great restaurant.

          There are terrific yuzu cocktails at Morimoto, too. Last time I was there they had a drink called Thunder Lightning made with shocho, ginger beer and fresh yuzu juice. Amazing!

        2. Not so, I've bought fresh yuzu from Sunrise Mart on Broome Street in SoHo over these last few weeks. $1.99 each and latterly $2.99 so not cheap but worth it for the exceptional flavour.

          I love eating Russ & Daughters gaspe nova with a little drizzle of fresh yuzu juice on top and nothing else. Alternatively I like a mug of hot honey water with a slice of yuzu in it which doubles up as a great flu buster. And you can grate the zest and use this for various purposes. I imagine that any ceviche made with fresh yuzu juice would be impressive too.

          Most calibre sushi bars will have as a standard offering "Madai" (Japanese snapper) served topped with some sea salt and a drizzle of yuzu, no shoyu required. Always a favourite.

          1. I meant I've never seen it at the Korean groceries - Sunrise & Katagiri always have it; regularly if not continuously ewen in season, so call ahead if you're going for that specifically.

            Also, you might try sudachi - another small citrus used as a seasoning/flavoring agent that also may or may not be available on any given day.

            Worth is of course in the eye of the beholder, but I'd be unlikely to pay $3 for a single yuzu absent extreme circumstances - that's just gouging. Even at hardly-a-bargain-basement Mitsuwa, they were 2/$3 just yesterday.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MikeG

              I guess that we all have our own extravagances although I was somewhat perturbed to see the $2.99 rather than $1.99 price tag last time I purchased. Sudachis are also regularly available at Sunrise for $1.99 each.

              For better value and more everyday use, I have bottled yuzu - unfortunately the brand I favour "Haguruma - Yuzu Kajyu", I haven't been able to track down in New York so stock up every time I'm back in London (GBP 3.79 for a small bottle).

            2. I make gin and tonics with fresh yuzu instead of lime. Best made with Sapporo brand tonic water, but I've only seen that in Japan.

              Off season you can still by freeze-dried yuzu peel at Sunrise and Katagiri and use it in place of dried lemon peel.

              Had desserts at WD-50 last week and I believe there was a yuzu flavored drink on the menu.

              1. Anyone see yuzu in chinatown?

                1. No, I've never seen any of the Japanese citrus (yuzu, in other Asian groceries - not even Korean which otherwise seems to share some of the basic culinary sensibility.

                  As you say, as an extrvagance $3 is cheap, but somehow that little bit extra would irk me on a more day-to-day basis (but I'm definitely "funny like that", too. ;) )

                  As for that particular brand of bottled juice, you might give Mitsuwa (in NJ) a call; they're not the end-all-be-all, but they do have a wider selection of things than the smaller shops ion the city. Also, you might check Korean grocery stores, like Han Ah Rheum on 32nd St. For whatever reason, I've never seen the fresh fruit there, but they do have ponzu, and presumably plain bottled juice.

                  1. Minamoto Kitchoan near Rockefeller Center has a Japanese sweet made of sugar-preserved yuzu peel. They may have some other kinds as well.
                    Yuzu tea, basically a loose yuzu marmalade is a typical Korean drink, so should be available in Korean groceries.

                    1. Love the yuzu kosho. I use it on tebasaki instead of shichimi. I bought a yuzu shoyu in a spa town that I am not likely to visit again in Japan and was very sad when it ran out.

                      1. A friend of mine is obssessed with Yuzu Tea. We got some at Panya Bakery in the East Village.

                        1. I notice that the bar at the Modern serves a yuzu wine (as a dessert wine). If it's anything like the yuzu sake that I tried at a sake brewery in Kobe last week, it ought to be delicious. I ended up buying 2 bottles of the stuff and bringing them back with me.

                          1. For a quick yuzu fix, go to the local Jas or Sunrise mart. They have limited edition yuzu hi-chew candies-with real Tokushima yuzu juice, they are super flavourful and yummy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kerokaeru

                              They also have three types of yuzu-kosho- a red and two greens (one in a tube).

                            2. Now in Sunrise Mart there is yuzu honey for bread or making drinks. It is located with the honey / coffee mix shelf.

                              Also had a JD Pop at Sumile - a soda pop with yuzu, elderflower, and shiso. It was pretty good as a non-alcoholic option

                              1. Yuzu 柚子, along with mooncake, is associated with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. It's available in all Chinese grocery stores this time of the year. The Japanese always has a way of making any common things seem out of the ordinary. It's all in the packaging, and you just have to "believe" ... :-)

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: newportt2004

                                  I've been to Kam Man, Kam Moon, Kam San, HK, Mon Cheung and Great Wall after seeing your post and have not seen fresh yuzu at any of these chinese markets.

                                  Whole Foods has fresh Yuzu, but 18.99 a lb yikes, then again it takes 30 years to grow a Yuzu tree.

                                  1. re: Ricky

                                    This is what I am referring to (the fruit variety):

                                    http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9F%9...

                                    1. re: newportt2004

                                      This is what everyone else is referring to.
                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuzu

                                      1. re: newportt2004

                                        I don't read Chinese, or Japanese kanji, but I think you're thinking of what's called "pomelo" in English. To oversimply, pomelo are like really big grapefruit, eaten for the fruit, yuzu are sort of like very sour, lemony tangerines or mandarines used for the juice and aromatic rind. Among a number of other differences, the big yellow Asian pomelos are about 100x the size of the average yuzu, at least the ones that show up retail in the NYC area.

                                        1. re: newportt2004

                                          thats definately a pomelo which is similar to a sweetie

                                          1. re: Ricky

                                            Just looked it up. Pomelo, that's exactly it, thanks. Funny they use the same Chinese character 柚子. (Yuzu native to China and Pomelo introduced into China? Wow .. I don't think Yuzu is even known in everyday Chinese lives nowadays. Never heard of and never seen one.)

                                    2. Angel's Share in the EV makes some cocktails containing yuzu juice and rind... I seem to remember an excellent shiso, yuzu, vodka concoction.