The exotic yuja fruit is used to make this Korean citron tea. The citron tea…
….has a unique scent and is both tasty and soothing. A wonderful winter drink. (In fact, for any other season!)
Korean Citron Tea (Yuja Tea)
Citron Tea also known as Yuja tea, is a herbal tea made from yuja-cheong (). Yuja-cheong is often made using a 1:1 ratio of yuja fruit, sugar, and/or honey. To make the citron tea, just dissolve 2-3 teaspoons of yuja-cheong in a cup of hot water.
You may also make a wonderful honey citron tea with ice cubes and sparkling water. It’s one of my go-to summer drinks. Citron tea has a bittersweet flavor as well as a sweet and somewhat sour flavor. Yuja is rich in vitamin C and citric acid, and it is used as a herbal remedy to treat colds in Korea.
What is Yuja?
Yuja (, sometimes known as yuzu) is a kind of citrus fruit native to central China and Tibet. Nowadays, it is mostly produced in China, Korea, and Japan, however Korean-grown yuja has thicker skin and a greater smell than its equivalents, according to this Korean Wikipedia.
Yuja has the appearance of a smaller form of yellow grapefruit, but with more uneven skin. The flavor is acidic, tart, and bittersweet, similar to lemon, mandarin orange, and grapefruit all rolled into one. In Korea, yuja is most often used in marmalades known as yuja-cheong (as previously noted). Once you’ve made yuja-cheong, you may easily turn it into a herbal tea, a dressing (such as yuzu sauce), or a dessert flavorer.
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Finding yuja is a difficult effort for many individuals. It wasn’t easy for any of us! To visit a yuja farm in a neighbouring state, I had to drive 3 hours one way. Even back then, I felt myself fortunate. Buying a bottle of yuja-cheong from your local Korean, Asian supermarket or Amazon is the quickest and easiest alternative choice for fresh yuja. It’s easy to find in the tea area isle. Obviously, in this situation, all of the hard work has already been done for you.
However, if you prefer a do-it-yourself approach and are unable to locate yuja fruit, you may substitute meyer lemon. If you want to know the difference between an ordinary lemon and a meyer lemon, go here. While it will not give you the same same flavor as yuja, it will surely imitate it. I’ve prepared the tea before with my own meyer lemons, and the flavor was just as excellent. As an added benefit, meyer lemon tea was not as bitter as genuine citron tea.
Tips For Preparing Citron Tea
As I briefly said before, in order to create citron tea, you must first prepare the tea foundation, yuja-cheong (yuja marmalade). The washing and drying of the yuja is the first step in this procedure. Because you’ll be eating the yuja peel, you’ll want to clean the skin well. To help in the cleaning process, many people add bicarb soda and/or coarse salt. The next critical step is to properly slice the yuja fruit.
Many individuals prefer to thinly slice the entire fruit (vertically) and only separate out the seeds as they slice it. However, I like to make yuja by segmenting it. Why? Because, in my view, citron tea tastes better. Here’s the step for preparing citron tea
- Yuja is split in half crosswise. When the fruit is cut cross section rather than vertically, I find it easier to extract the seeds.
- Using a fork, remove any seeds from the yuja. There will also be a lot of seeds stuck in the deep end of the pulp, so don’t miss them.
- Using a knife, cut the yuja into pieces (e.g. four quadrant). Remove the pulp from the peel and place it in a basin. To provide leverage, you might use a teaspoon. Make careful you do this over the bowl to capture any valuable liquid. (Because yuja is more costly than lemon or orange and is a more dry citrus type, you’ll want to avoid waste)
- Using a sharp knife, remove the white pith from the peel. It’s like if you’re chopping a fillet of fish for sashimi. Remove the white pith. Set aside the thinly sliced outer layer (yuja rind).
As you would expect, my method is a little more time-consuming than most people’s methods for preparing yuja, but I believe it is worthwhile. Why? This is due to the very bitter taste of the white pith. I can take moderate bitterness in most foods, but when I brewed some batches of citron tea with the white pith left on, the citron tea was quite bitter to drink.
So, if you’re as fussy as I am and don’t believe you can handle a bitter citron tea, I propose removing the white pith of the yuja using the procedures outlined above.
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