Saturday, January 21, 2012

Simply Yujacha

With winter creeping in like a thick fog and creating a frigid chill in the air, a hot beverage to soothe the mind and body sounds just about right.  What? You say you have a slight cough or sore throat, too?  It's that time of year isn't it?

I know the beverage for you. Yujacha (유자차) or citron tea.  Yujacha is similar to what most people know as marmalade. It is made of the citron fruit. Unlike the lemon or orange, the citron fruit is a smaller somewhat longer shaped fruit with little tasty juicy fruit to be eaten. The fruit is thinly sliced and made into a jelly-like preservable substance with the addition of honey or sugar.

In November (yes, this post is getting up a bit late), I received some citron tea from someone at a small company, Dalhae Trading, in exchange for some information and quotable remarks from my post about my love for tea and omijacha. To say the least, I was very excited to receive this package in the mail!  I absolutely love tea and yujacha is great during the winter cold season.

What do I do next? I grab a pot and boil up some water. I dish two spoon fulls of this delightful substance into the mug and I pour in some boiling water. Stir it up and give it a second to flavor up the water. Then, down my throat it goes all in one smooth relaxing move.  You'll notice, if inspecting the citron tea part of the fruit or pulp is used to make the substance. This makes reaching the bottom of the mug fun because now you have a chewy bittersweet treat awaiting you.  You've gotta like the pulpy-ness to enjoy the bottom of the mug and I certainly do!

Why do I drink this? 

1. It tastes good.
2. It's loaded with vitamin C-like healthiness and used as an herbal remedy to fight off winter illnesses.
3. It soothes a sore throat and a cough.
4. Did I say, it tastes good? Yes! You should try some.

Where can I find some of this goodness in a jar? 

You can find this in most Asian markets like the tea aisles of Korean or Japanese stores.
Or you could be adventurous and try to make some yourself.  Many cultures have their own version of the citron tea used to treat the common cold.

Where can fellow San Diegans find this? 
Well, I'm still working on answering this question. However, the Vietnamese and Chinese markets both sell the Korean version of the yujacha even with pretty Korean labels.
Writing on my love for all things Korea, I'm going to be biased and say that the Korean market/store Zion Market is the best place to shop, even for tea. Granted, I've only been there once as I'm still making time to get out and explore, but it was very large and fun to explore.  Look for more on that store later.

What other creative things can you do with your yujacha/citron tea/marmalade mix? 

The sky is the limit on this one folks.  Personally, I've used jelly and or this yujacha in chicken and salmon marinades. I've also used it as a sweetener on my morning toast.
How have others used it? And what ideas have I thought of or am I going to steal and recreate on my own?
One could make rolls, cake, muffins, cheesecake, mixed beverages, and so much more. Let your imagination run wild.  Check back in the next month for some of my crazy ideas.

This tea is simply delicious and may find itself marinading and glazing multiple treats of yours. Enjoy brainstorming the many things you can do with it while sipping on a hot mug of yujacha in order to stay warm and healthy this winter!


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