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How do I Love Yuzu? Let Me Count The Ways

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your holidays were full of joy and peace. Mine were filled with "Glee," thanks to a gift from my daughter...

My homestay sister has access to a yuzu tree, and she kindly sent a box of yuzu to me at the end of December. She said to draw a hot bath, float some yuzu in the water and soak; do this on December 23, and you will have a year of health and happiness, she told me. It was a bit hectic that day, what with Peter's company Christmas party and us leaving the next day for a trip to Bali, that I inadvertently forgot. She also told me that I could keep the fruit fresh by wrapping them in newspaper and then in a plastic bag and sticking them in the refrigerator until I returned from my trip. I've since recovered from my South East Asian gastric travails (maybe I should have had the yuzu bath, after all!), and I wanted to make use of the organic yuzu I had sequestered.

Yuzu is such a delightful citrus. There are so many ways to utilize the fruit: the juice can be mixed with soy sauce for a nice ponzu sauce for fish or meats; substitute yuzu for lemon in a vinaigrette for a salad; the peel can be used in baking cakes or breads; the peel can also be candied; the Koreans make a marmalade from the peel and dilute the jam with hot water for a yuzu tea.

I decided to make yuzu jam and looked up a couple of recipes from Cookpad, a Japanese recipe website. There was one method whereby you soaked the yuzu peel overnight in water to rid the bitterness and another where you boiled the peel and dumped out the water, repeating this process 3 times. I opted for the second method since I didn't want to wait until tomorrow.

Oh, and we did have a yuzu buro or a yuzu bath, on New Year's Day. Does that count? I hope so. Here's to a year full of health and happiness to all!

yuzu_on_table

 


Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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US Metric
Yuzu Jam

Adapted from a recipe on Cookpad.com

1 kg whole yuzu

500-600 g sugar


Cooking Process:

Rinse the yuzu and cut them in half. Squeeze the halved yuzu into a bowl and separate the seeds from the juice. Reserve the juice. Scoop out the inside of the squeezed yuzu with a spoon and place the membranes with the seeds. Wrap up the membranes and the seeds in a cheesecloth and tie tightly. This will be added to the peel to help with the thickening.

Slice the empty yuzu shells into fine juliennes. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the yuzu peel strips to the water and boil for a few minutes. Drain the water and peel into a strainer and repeat the process with fresh water 2 more times. This pre-boil process should get rid of most of the bitterness.

Place the pre-boiled yuzu peel into the pot and add enough fresh water to cover. Add the cheesecloth containing the seeds and membranes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth and add the sugar and the reserved yuzu juice. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so until the mixture is thickened.

How to Serve:

Serve the jam with toast or yogurt. Make a winter drink by adding hot water to some of the jam. Use a bit of the jam for a marinade or as a condiment for chicken.

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