Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yuzu Shu: Another Chapter in the Yuzu Chronicles

While I've already made four batches of yuzu-ginger marmalade (including one for Le Panier de Piu's December Cooking Party), there are still a few yuzu hiding around the apartment. While I'm saving a few for the traditional dunking in the bath on the solstice, I also thought I'd try my hand this year at yuzushu. The umeshu process had been quite straight-forward, and my hunch was yuzushu would be as well.

Solstice Yuzushu*
1.8 liters of shochu
6 yuzu, mostly the fat ones
250 grams of sugar

Pour sugar into the bottom of a clean glass jar (non-reactive containers are best in these situations), and pop the yuzu fruit and peel on top. Pour in the shochu. The recipe I mostly followed suggests removing the peel after one week or so, and the fruit after a month. Let it age in a cool dark place for six months to a year to become a fine liqueur or a tolerably tasty mixer. We'll have to see.

Caveats and More Caveats

Fruit - Yuzu is famous in Japan for many reasons, not the least of which is the tradition of popping it into the bath on the solstice. It smells fantastic and I can't imagine it's bad for you. While we didn't experience it last year, we plan to find ourselves bobbing about with those golden globes at our neighborhood sento. So, while I didn't make this batch on the solstice, it seemed like an appropriate moniker.

Pith - I did not remove the pith. I've not removed it while making yuzu or mikan marmalade, and it hasn't been a problem. A little research also seems to show that orange pith is actually quite healthy and I'm betting yuzu isn't far behind.

Sugar - In hindsight, I do wish I'd used the rock sugar leftover from the umeshu. I think it might dissolve a bit more slowly and evenly than the organic granular sugar used here.

Speaking of leftovers, Kyoto Foodie (KF) - source of the recipe here - turned the leftover peels and bits into marmalade, which I'm going to give a go, too. A neighbor down the hall gave me the dregs from her batch last year, and I used them in various dishes in order to empty the container. If I am the blessed recipient again, I'll add her fixings to mine for what should be something scrumptious. Or at least, a good gift. (KF also candied his peel, which I like the sound of despite having no idea how to do it.)

Meanwhile, I've still got a bag full of yuzu waiting for a purpose. I've considered juicing them, adding chilli pepper to the yuzu-ginger combination, or just making a batch of straight-marmalade. Or adding a bit to some apple jam stewing in the back of my mind for some time now. Suggestions are welcome, and could well warrant a jar of the concoction shipped to your door.


panpressedin said...

I'm not sure if you're interested in making any cocktails, but another blog I follow just posted this wonderful looking yuzu cocktail. You can find it here: http://www.vanillagarlic.com/2010/12/craft-yuzu-gin-fizz-cocktail-recipe.html

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks for the link, Almir! I checked it out, and it does sound amazing. Perhaps we'll serve it up at our Christmas Lunch on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

how did this all turnout? interested to know how your recipe tasted

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. It could perhaps be a bit sweeter, but it's got a lovely warming effect. :)

You can read more about it here:

Anonymous said...

so you suggest more sugar then? i have a bit of a sweet tooth so i don't think it will hurt...

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

I might. It's getting to be time to make this year's batch, and I make one with the same amounts and one with a bit more sugar. FYI, I do recommend trying other fruits, too. We sampled the blueberry and rhubarb shus last night, and they were simply amazing...if I do say so myself.