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I would love to share Japanese citrus tea, Yuzu Cha this week. My parents’ house is in a tiny town with population about 3000(?). There is not much things you can do in winter apart from going to my mom’s veggie patch or read magazines or books from a local library which don’t even have wifi….. My favourite thing to do was to loan food magazines and I read about Yuzu Cha.
Yuzu is Japanese citrus which is something like between lemon and mandarin. It is not consumed as fresh fruit, but used in Japanese cooking a lot, Yuzu ponzu, Yuzu kosho, and in Japanese sweets like Yuzu monaka. Yuzu is my favourite flavour of any sweets. 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 found a lot of Yuzu rolling around at the bottom of veggie drawer of the fridge. The cold weather and the fact that I have plenty of Yuzu in the fridge inspired me to make this Yuzu Cha.
It is super easy, no skill required really, just put ingredients in a jar and stir it once a day. In 3 to 4 days, it mature and you can enjoy the Yuzu Cha. I could only stay in Japan for two weeks this time and I wanted to make it and take it home here in Australia with me. So I bought a two little jar, which you can see in the photographs, from a shop when we went for shopping in a big shopping mall. I set the yuzu cha and stored in dark and cold cupboard and stir it regularly. I could not wait any longer than 4 days so I had tried the yuzu cha on the 5th day. It was very warming and comforting sweet citrus tea. It was especially relaxing afternoon tea looking at a Sazanka tree standing in cold outside in my parent’s small back garden through the kitchen window.
I packed the two little jars filled with yuzu cha in my carry on bag. I thought 90ml jars each would be ok to carry on even jam like yuzu cha regarded as liquid. I was wrong. We had so much trouble to bring this back to Australia, not at the Australian custom but at the Kansai International airport. I just could not give up and let the Japanese custom to throw my Yuzu cha away to a bin! I paid about A$15 to pack it into my checked in suitcase.
It was worth to pay another A$15. Those two little jars are now in my fridge waiting for colder weather to enjoy this lovely Yuzu tea. Also I would like to grow my own Yuzu in Queensland so that I can make more yuzu tea and also use Yuzu for other stuff in my cooking. I researched and it is possible to get a grafted Yuzu tree or you might find yuzu at local farmer’s markets.
- Wash and peel the Yuzu. Keep the Yuzu pulp
- Cut yuzu skin into a small and thin strip.
- remove all seeds and separate the pulp
- Place one-third of Yuzu skin and pulp in the bottom of a clean jar
- 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 teaspoons of Yuzu Cha in a cup and pour hot water.