Korean Citron Tea known as Yuja cha in Korean, is called Yuzu Cha in Japanese. It is a very popular tea drink in Japan. I am one of those who love Yuzu fruit and lucky enough to now be able to get FRESH Yuzu in Queensland! So I am updating my recipe on how to make this traditional Korean tea.
What is YUZU?
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus which is like something between a lemon and mandarin. It is not usually consumed as fresh fruit, but instead is frequently used in Japanese cooking. Dishes like Yuzu ponzu, Yuzu kosho, and in Japanese sweets like Yuzu monaka. Yuzu is by far my favourite flavour of any citrus fruit.
Thank goodness, I am from a prefecture which is famous for citrus produce such as mandarin and Nanko Ume (plum). In my mom’s fridge, I would always find a lot of Yuzu rolling around at the bottom of the veggie drawer. So whenever I go back to Japan, I make this citron tea.
Where is the fresh Yuzu available?
In Australia, it is quietly gaining popularity and Yuzu is now commercially available. Check this ABC news article about this citrus fruit. If interested you could read this report about how many Australian chefs love the fruit here on SBS and Mountain Yuzu. You can get Yuzu products from Mountain Yuzu online shop. In the U.S. Yuzu seems to grow in California, so check the availability at Produce Market Guide.
Where did I get fresh yuzu fruit? One lovely reader of Chopstick Chronicles contacted me saying that she has a yuzu tree and harvested over 70 yuzu fruit this year. Because she is living not so far away from where I live, I, of course, begged if I could visit her. She kindly invited me to pick some of my own. I was so excited to see Yuzu on a tree in Queensland.
How to make Yuzu Cha?
It is very simple and easy. Also, it only requires two ingredients: Yuzu and rock sugar. First of all, rub unrefined coarse salt on yuzu to clean the yuzu surface. Wash off the salt and remove any spots with a knife. Remove seeds, slice the yuzu rind thinly. Place the yuzu and rock sugar alternately in a container and wait for 3 to 4 days to mature.
How to use this Korean citron tea Yuja cha?
You can enjoy it as a hot drink or iced tea. Place two tbsp of yuja marmalade into a cup and pour hot water over. It will be great for easing sore throats as Yuzu contains vitamin C, the same as other citrus fruits. Or you can use it to bake some sweets or use as yogurt topping etc. I will share my ideas on the blog soon.
What can you substitute the rock sugar with?
I recommend to use rock sugar. Because rock sugar melts slower than other sugars such as caster sugar and it does not harden when it absorbs the juice. Furthermore while melting slowly, it brings out the refreshing and distinctive flavour of Yuzu. However, if you can not access rock sugar you could substitute it with honey or sugar. Use a 1 to 0.5 yuzu to sugar/honey ratio.
How long does Korean citron tea, yuja cha store?
It takes about 3-4 days to mature or for all the rock sugar to melt. Once all the sugar has melted, store it refrigerated. It is recommended to use it all within a week. If you are going to freeze it, divide them into the amount to use at once (in this case 2 tbsp) and freeze them. It will last for a month in the freezer.
Hope you enjoy Korean Citron Tea Yuja Cha or Yuzu Cha in Japanese. If you liked my recipe for Yuzu cha, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
- 300 g Yuzu *1
- 300 g rock sugar
- Rub coarse unrefined salt to clean the surface of the yuzu fruits. Wash the salt off under running water.
- Remove any scars and spots off the fruit with a sharp knife.
- Cut each yuzu into 4 pieces.
- Remove all seeds and trim the centre edge of the pulp. *2
- Slice all yuzu rinds thinly.
- Place one-third of sliced yuzu in the bottom of a clean jar *3
- Place one-third of rock sugar over Yuzu in the jar.
- Repeat the process twice more time
- Keep it in cool place for 4-5 days. The rock sugar will start to melt in a couple of days.
- Stir at least once a day. Refrigerate after the rock sugar melt.
- To have a cup of yuzu tea, place 2 tablespoons of Yuzu Cha in a cup and pour hot water and stir.
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