Skip to main content

Yuzu Shu Confession

Way back in the wilds of December I set my first batch of yuzushu to steep. A similar process to umeshu, one simply sets the fruit in shochu (essentially straight alcohol) with lots of sugar. A classic recipe in many regards, and one of the easiest ways to make your own liquor. After a week I fished out the rinds and made a batch of marmalade with them (mottainai and all that), and then set the jar back in its corner for further brewing.

Time passed. I think I was meant to take the fruit out before we left for America, but that didn't happen. I thought about taking it out when we returned in March, but other things occurred that distracted me.

So on a rainy afternoon in nearly early May just after finishing a batch of rhubarb butter I decided it was time to extract the fruit. Yuzu is notoriously strong-flavored, and so I was rather worried that it might taste like...crap.

The amount fits rather nicely into four quart jars, and the fruit looks more than ready to be turned into some kind of jam-like substance that I haven't dreamed up just yet. (I'm imagining it with mint and maybe apples.) As I got closer to the bottom the yuzushu came out cloudier, and the final jar resembles a wheat beer in color and texture.

For purely scientific purposes we sampled each jar to determine whether or not there was a difference in flavor. The pure gold jar had a bit of a fiery kick, while the opaque yuzushu was slightly sweeter. The aroma distinctly reminded me of my marmalade, which also has me wondering about tossing in some ginger next time around, too. Meanwhile, back to the sampling...


bookworm said…
My spouse works with produce in his job. Neither of us had heard of Yuzu. This was fascinating - spouse learned about a fruit new to him - I look forward to reading some of your other posts. Glad I found your blog through the Blogathon.
ladymoxie said…
Oooh I want to try to make this. I love homemade brews!
So, I poked around at some of your links, trying to figure out if I could replicate this here in Hawaii. Could vodka be used instead of shochu? And what of the yuzu? Is their a counterpart that could be found here? Lemons? Oranges? I'd love to try something like this!
I'm so glad, bookworm!! Yuzu is great, although very difficult to find outside of Japan. It's possible, but it's crazy expensive from what I hear. Thanks for stopping by!

ladymoxie, I would highly recommend giving something similar a go. It's ridiculously easy, and now that I've got a wee bit of confidence I'm going to charge forward with rhubarb. Or whatever else I see a bumper crop of throughout the year.

Kris, I would completely recommend any kind of citrus. There's a great article from the NYTimes about this. I'm looking for it right now, but it also sounds like fun.

Now, to answer your questions: Yes, I think you could use vodka. In place of the yuzu you could, as I mentioned use any citrus, but you could shoot for limes with lemons or another tangy citrus. As I mentioned above I'm going to give rhubarb a shot, but I also think kiwi would be good as would apple, pear, etc. Sky's the limit, really. Keep me posted on your results!
Aha! Here's the link.

Seems like a follow-up blog post should be in the works...I'll get right on that!
Unknown said…
Ok.. Now I see what you mean and I'm inspired to try making it. It sounds great.

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Kamakura Farmers Market: Giant Buddhas and Good Vegetables

Kamakura Farmers Market entrance A little more than an hour train ride south of Tokyo sits Kamakura. Like Kyoto and Nara, Kamakura is a former capital full to the brim with temples, shrines, and a bounty of historical sites lining its winding streets. Nestled in a cozy bay with beaches and a giant Buddha tucked amongst the rest, it's a city that invites multiple visits if not at least one. And those seeking a farmers market well-stocked with traditional vegetables, skilled growers ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, along with some nifty prepared foods to rejuvenate themselves after so many temples surely won't be disappointed, either. Kamakura Farmers Market - right side full of signs Started nearly twenty years ago, the Kamakura Farmers Market or Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, runs seven days a week nearly year-round. A ten-minute walk from the station, the market is located in what at first glance looks like nothing so much as a run-down w

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l