• Burnt wheat, yukari and yuzu tart (Sharyn Cairns)
If you haven't tasted yuzu, you're in for a delightful surprise.
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20 Dec 2017 - 12:45 PM  UPDATED 8 Jan 2018 - 10:11 AM

Aromatic, floral and ultra-zesty, the Japanese citron, yuzu has quite the balancing act down pat. Quite strong in flavour, you'll only need a little to pack some punch.

Originating in Tibet and popular throughout Japan, yuzu zest is added to vegetables and seafood dishes, hot pots and also to miso paste to create a sauce spooned over sashimi. Its citrus tendencies lend itself beautifully to savoury dishes, but it also has a sweet side, where it works like an essence in puddings, jelly, custards, curds and ice-creams. A few drops of yuzu juice or powder is all you need to reap the zesty effect.

While the fruit is seasonal during the autumn/winter months, fresh yuzu has only recently been cultivated in Australia. If you can't find fresh easily then bottled yuzu juice, vinegar, powder and paste make a great substitute and are available at Asian grocers.

So you've bought your yuzu and now what? Here are 11 ways to shake up your love of citrus in the kitchen.

1. Tempura takes a dip

These are two-bite tempura. Served with a yuzu and soy sauce, these fried capsicums are stuffed with a mix of crab and feta served with salmon tartare on top.

Crab-stuffed capsicum tempura
  

2. Katsu sensation

This fried crumbed pork cutlet is supreme comfort food. Serve with a little cabbage and yuzu dressing, a bowl of rice, miso soup, sesame seeds and mustard if desired, and of course the tonkatsu sauce for dipping. This dish will have you going back for more.

3. All buttered-up

To make the yuzu butter, combine unsalted butter, shallots, sea salt and the yuzu juice in a bowl. The trick to this dish is once the abalone starts to caramelise, transfer it to a plate, laying a few slices of the hardened butter on top - boom!

Abalone with yuzu butter

4. Chilli with your chips

These plump, cheesy chips are made from grits, a Southern favourite, and are served with a yuzu, chilli and kewpie, a Japanese mayo.

 

5. A toast with the most

This is a superb snack and one that is worth devouring hot. each prawn toast is topped with a yuzu mayo and a fresh herb salad of coriander, mint and nuoc cham, a sweet and sour Vietnamese dipping sauce. 

6. Seafood marinade

With a couple of Japanese-style ingredients and a few minutes on the barbecue, your weekly tuna salad just got a whole lot more impressive.

7. We're shaking and stirring

A very simple Hawaiian-inspired cocktail made with ripe pineapples, vodka, Malibu and vanilla bean, it’s incredibly refreshing, easy to drink – and lethal. You can add more Malibu if you wish, but be careful not to add too much or it’ll taste like sunscreen. Mahalo!

 

8. Because Wagon Wheels

These black sesame biscuits sandwich a layer of vanilla marshmallow and yuzu jam. We're calling it - these are the most adorable Wagon Wheels we've ever eaten!

Black sesame and yuzu wagon wheel biscuits

9. Burnt wheat, yukari and yuzu tart

This sweet slice is for those who are on the lookout for their next baking challenge. Its pastry is made with a roasted flour called grano arso, the filling full of the sweet tartness of yuzu and the zest that adds a fresh tang. The yukari, sprinkled on at the end is made from a combination of dehydrated, fermented shiso leaves and dehydrated umeboshi plum. This decadent tart celebrates the citrus powers that be.

Burnt wheat, yukari and yuzu tart

 

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