Yuzu in my mind is this romanticized citrus fruit that is interwoven in many traditions in Japan. Kind of like how cherry blossoms appear in traditional haikus, yuzu is a symbol of Japanese cuisine and traditional ways of life. Making a yuzu bath during the winter solstice was said to ward off the common cold. A sliver of the rind appears as a garnish in chawanmushi, a curated savory egg custard that is eaten around the New Year which includes a little bit of everything seasonal and is beautifully constructed. The peel and fruit itself is so aromatic, not even comparable to lemons or limes. Oh how I wish I can get a hold of them year round, I bet I could make the most delicate cocktail with them. But alas, these are rare and seasonal... and that may be the reason why I sentimentalize about them.
So if you are lucky enough to find them, go make this mignonette I developed and pair it with seafood. I slurped down oysters on the half shell with it. The flavors of the ocean and refreshing aroma of the yuzu are heavenly. And don't skip on the zest, that's where all of the fragrance comes from.
- zest from one yuzu (can substitute lemon zest)
- 1 oz freshly squeezed yuzu juice (can substitute bottled yuzu juice)
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 tsp freshly minced shallots
combine and serve with freshly shucked oysters