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Yuzu-mania

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).