Korean cooking forum topics:
I was surprised to find that, unlike all the other Korean cookbooks and online sources I’ve read, the cookbook “Growing up in a korean kitchen” by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall uses yuja/yuzu juice (or lemon) in lots of recipes. I’ve never seen other mentions of yuzu in Korean cooking before (except candied peel or a tea), only in Japanese food so I’m curious to why it’s included.
Is using yuzu juice a feature of the author’s regional cuisine (she’s from Cheongju in Chungchung province)? Is it something most people writing in English about Korean food omit because it’s hard to get hold of in the West? Or is it just the preference of the writer?
I really wish I could find fresh Korean yuja here in the USA. It has a very unique taste and aroma that can’t be compared to anything else. I used to make yuja tea with it when it was in season, in the late fall, and even though I can buy premade tea here in the US, it’s not the same.
I personally never used it for cooking, but some people love the unique flavor it adds to a dish.
I had never even heard the Japanese word yuzu until I left Korea. I once found fresh yuzu in a store here, but the flavor wasn’t like Korean yuja at all. There’s a distinct difference between the two.
Thanks for your help, Maangchi! There’s next to no fresh yuzu in the UK either but the juice is getting much easier to find now in supermarkets as well as Asian stores and online. Lots of the top chefs have started using it in Europe recently so there’s a big demand now – they’re trying to grow yuzu in Spain to make the fresh fruit more available.
I’ve read that Korean yuja gets sold to Japan because it’s seen as a better quality. I suppose it’s like how wine from different countries can taste totally different, even when it’s made from the same variety of grape!
I posted my yuja tea recipe a couple of days ago. http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yujacha
Yuzu juice is used in the Japanese dipping sauce called ponzu. I suspect there is something similar in a Korean sauce. The first time I made ponzu I used the juice of an orange blended with the juice of a lime. It is not the same as yuzu juice but it was an acceptable alternative ingredient when yuzu juice is not available.
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