If you are familiar with Japanese food, I am pretty sure you have heard about the citrus called Yuzu. Yuzu has a very aromatic rind that wakens up the senses. We often use the rind to brighten up the flavor of our dishes and to enjoy the pleasant fragrance it brings. The yuzu juice has a fruity scent but the taste of the pulp is rather tart and tangy, so it is sometimes used to add an acidic touch to meals. The most common ingredient using yuzu juice is ponzu. Ponzu is a delicious citrus-flavored soy sauce that has many uses. We can get ponzu at the Japanese or Asian supermarket or sometimes even at the local grocery store.
One day, I happened across Meyer lemons while grocery shopping and their fruity fragrance immediately reminded me of yuzu. It is a little less sour than yuzu but still fruitier than regular lemons, so since that day I have been using Meyer lemons as a yuzu substitute. Since we can’t get Yuzu easily around here I have been recommending that my cooking students use Meyer lemons for yuzu as well. Meyer lemons are in season during the winter, but the good news is that these days we see them at the supermarket all year round so it’s not too difficult to get them. Whenever you find yourself craving a dish with Yuzu, remember that you have access to a great substitute.
I’ll be introducing a delicious homemade ponzu recipe that uses Meyer lemons instead of yuzu. Stay tuned for my next article!