When life gives you lemons, well, maybe ask for yuzu.
Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, has a rough yellow skin and almost looks like a miniature grapefruit. Its juice is tart like that of a lemon, but has a tangy undertone totally different from any other citrus variety. In the past few years, New York restaurants have begun importing Yuzu (from Japan, China and California) and its juice like never before. It’s used in cocktails, and seafood dishes and chef’s are experimenting with incorporating it into Western cuisine. From the yuzu lemonade at Ivan Ramen to burrata with yuzu at Mission Cantina, the fruit is popping up in creative ways across a breadth of cuisines.
Chef David Bouley challenged a group of chefs, journalists and food industry professionals in his TriBeCa test kitchen last Wednesday afternoon to consider the fruit.
“What would you do with a bottle of yuzu?” he asked.
The responses varied, from making vegan mayonnaise, which Bouley demonstrated by whipping soy milk and yuzu juice together, to adding a few drops to a glass of water in the morning, which Bouley said would most definitely improve internal health. (He said he wished he knew about this trick in his youth.) Kochi Prefecture, Japan’s biggest yuzu producer, hosted the event, to help familiarize New York food lovers with the ingredient.
If you haven’t had yuzu yet, you’re in luck. Here’s where to get in on the hottest new tart fruit trend.