Yuja is a refreshing citrus fruit with an interesting history. It is widely used as a herbal remedy and ingredient for various types of tea, desserts, cocktails and main dishes. Yuja is a perfect example of an ingredient that is embraced not only for its flavor but for its incredible ability to relieve headaches, flu and many other illnesses and symptoms. It can even known to cure hangovers. Yuja is a citrus fruit, but it’s very different from lemons or limes, since it has a distinctly sour and bitter taste and rarely used for fresh juice or zest. The fruit is usually cooked into a marmalade and used for tea or other numerous Korean dishes and recipes. When Yuja is preared with honey or sugar, the flavors are softened which vastly disminishes its bitterness.
History & Health benefits The Yuja fruit was introduced to Korea during the second year reign of King Munmu during the age of Silla. Legend tells of a man named Jang Bo Goh who was bringing a Yuja tree to Korea from China. A storm struck and crushed the tree and its fruits, as he carried the seeds into his coat. He travelled throughout South Korea and the seeds fell out and took root. Ever since, the Yuja tree has flourished in Korea. Due to its high Vitamin C content, the fruit is used as a well-known traditional Korean herbal remedy for illnesses that occur during cold seasons. A teaspoonful of Yuja contains approximately 90mg of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C is mainly found in the peel not the pulp which is why the whole fruit is used to make the marmalade. The Vitamin C relieves chills, headaches and other common winter illnesses. The honey in the marmalade soothes sore throats and improves respiration. While we love the history of the Yuja and how beneficial it is to our healthy it is, we’re even more fond of the Yuja tea and there are many ways the Yuja fruit can be used yuja, everything to cocktails, desserts and main dishes.
Yuja Tea Yuja is used to make the traditional Korean herbal tea called Yujacha in Korean. To make the tea, fresh Yuja fruit is harvested and thinly sliced, then sugar or honey is added to make a Yuja Marmalade. To prepare the Yuja tea, use a large spoonful of Yuja Marmalade. Its quantity should be used depending on how sweet you want the taste to be to per cup of hot water. Or you can add the marmalade to your favorite green tea, for added health benefits. You’ll want your water to be hot but not steaming, ideally the temperature of the water should be between 185-195 degrees.
Gin & Vodka Cocktail Cooler -1 oz of Your Favorite Vodka -1 oz of You Favorite Gin -¾ oz Green Tea Liquor -3 teaspoons Yuja Marmalade or more to taste -Ice -Mint for Garnish Add ingredients to a shaker and shake well. Pour into a cocktail glass, garnish with mint and serve immediately.
Yuja Cheese Cake This simple no-bake cheesecake is extremely easy to make, creamy and delicious. The tangy citrusy flavor of the Yuja is refreshing and adds a healthy benefit to this indulgent dessert. For the Crust 1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs 3 Tablespoons Sugar 3 Tablespoons Melted Butter Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a mixing bowl. Press the graham cracker mixture into the spring form pan and refrigerate for later use. For the Filling, 8 oz package Cream Cheese, softened 3 Tablespoons Sugar 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice 1 Tablespoon Gelatin, mixed with 3 Tablespoon Water ¼ Cup milk 1 cup Non-Dairy Whipped Cream ½ Cup Yuja Marmalade. Heat the gelatin in a small pot in the top of a double boiler, until the gelatin is melted, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and milk until the content is combined well and smooth. Add the lemon juice, Yuja Marmalade and gelatin and mix well. Lastly, spread the whipped topping. Pour the filling into crust, add the topping and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. For the Topping ¾ Cup Yuja Marmalade 1 1/2 teaspoons Gelatin mixed with 2 Tablespoon water. To make the topping, heat the gelatin and add the Yuja Marmalade, mix well and let it cool. Spread the Yuja Marmalade evenly on top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheese cake until it is ready to be served.
A version of this article by Karin Chun, Amanda Ashley, Wikipedia.com. Photo by TastyKFood Stock.