Japanese citron

Japanese citrus fruits and lemons

The citrus fruits are called “Kankitsu”.  

Some of them were not sold seasonally, and Some non-Japanese citrus fruits are also in the mix for comparison.

Japanese citron

Today, I’m going to show you a unique Japanese citron.


One of Japanese most popular citrus fruits. Yuzu usually comes out in the winter. In Japan, there is a custom of taking some yuzu bath on the winter solstice. It is believed to keep you healthy for a whole year.

Yuzu has not only sour, but also unique bitterness. 


In Japan, It is said that Peach and chestnut takes 3yeas, Persimmon takes 8 years, and Yuzu takes 18 years from planting to harvesting.

In fact, my aunt planted a yuzu in her garden and it took her 15 years to harvest them.

Ponzu (ポン酢)

This bitterness works great to Japanese dishes! We often eat pot cuisine, Nabe in winter with this fruit in a sour soy sauce called “Ponzu(ポン酢)”. 

I explained about ponzu here.

Yuzu recipe

We don’t eat yuzu like mandarin oranges. This is used as one of the seasonings instead of lemon. Soak yuzu in honey and made into ginger ale (we call Yuzu-nade, like a lemonade) or jam…

FYI: Cookpad
Source: https://cookpad.com/recipe/1301522



“Kabosu” has been produced in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu for over 400 years. It is written “Cabusu” in Japanese- Portugal dictionary, published around 1603.

Kabosu recipe


It has a low smell and more bitter than Yuzu. Kabosu goes well with grilled fish, especially saury.

It is said Kabosu prevent Sashimi discolored and smells off, so that it improves appetite.

Kabosu recipe

kabosu men

Recently, adding it to chilled Udon or Shochu (Japanese liquor) to add flavor is very popular.

FYI: Kurashiru
Source: https://www.kurashiru.com/recipes/046428ac-31a3-4020-a3cd-99bf14511f30


“Su” means vinegar. “Dachi” is “Citrus” . So, Sudachi is named as “Vinegar citrus”.

Sudachi is from Tokushima prefecture,  harvests when green, fresh aroma and It is more acidic than the other citrus fruits.

Sudachi recipe


This is added to nabe dishes, grilled fish like a sweetfish, Sashimi, or grilled matsutake mushrooms just before we eat.

Kabos is 5-8 cm in diameter, but the Sudachi is 3 cm. 

“Aoyuzu” means green Yuzu, is harvested while Yuzu is still green in summer. 

“Ao” means blue. Japanese describes youthful things as “Blue”. It is used in both good and bad meanings. 

Therefore, a youthful green color is often called “Blue”. When I was a child, It was confused blue or green!

The signals are “green, yellow and red”, but Japanese says them “blue, yellow and red”. 

Anyway, It is unique bitterness of Yuzu and uses as a condiment. The diameter is 4-5cm, bigger than Sudachi.

When you slice it, you can smell the bitter smell of Yuzu in summer.

Aoyuzu recipe

yuzu koshou

Especially, the peel is grated with green chili peppers, called “Yuzu-kosho” is often used to season Yakitori.

This goes well with chicken breast yakitori.


It is also known as the Taiwanese mandarin because it grows wild in the Ryukyu Islands (“Ryukyu” means old Okinawa district) of Japan and Taiwan.

Shikwasa recipe

Very sour😖. In Okinawa, they put it in Awamori, juice or garnish seafood with it for deodorant.

Lemon (レモン)


Most lemons were from California or New Zealand, but now Hiroshima’s lemons are famous in Japan.

They are pesticide-free, so we eat the peels as well.

Japanese often add it to drinks like Chuhai sours, highballs or it is served as garnish of foods.

Lemon recipe

There is no Japanese dish that uses lemon, but it is often served with Agemono (deep-fried foods ).
Because, it refreshes the palate. This is Deep-fried Spanish mackerel Yuzukosho(柚子胡椒) Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ)!

FYI: Nadia
Source: https://oceans-nadia.com/user/40170/recipe/375056

Lime (ライム)


The lime is similar to a lemon shape as you know.
It’s refreshing aroma but taste is weaker than Japanese citruses, so we use for drinking Western liquors like rum or tequilas.

Lime recipe

Wafu mojito

Lime is an essential ingredient in mojitos.
In Japan, we drink it as a “Japanese-style mojito” using sake instead of rum.
Perfect for the summer!

FYI: Cooking Magic!
Source: http://cooking-magic.com/recipe/print?id=533



We call oranges “mikan”.
I will introduce Japanese their unique oranges on another page. We have approx.30 kinds Japanese mikan, so I can not explain them at once.

Mikan recipe

Whole orange fruit Daifuku

Easy microwave recipe! You can use red soy beans instead of the white ones for the anko.

FYI: Cookpad
Source: https://cookpad.com/recipe/6492178

Actually, Japanese don’t really know the difference between Kabosu, Sudachi and Aoyuzu either. I am used be neither. hahaha😅

This was a good lesson for me.

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