Yuzu juice is a classic drink that many people enjoy because of its taste and the health benefits it provides. However, you may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to the fruit for your recipe, partially because the fruit is banned from being imported into the United States. Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes that will work great for your recipe.
In this article, we are going to list 14 of the best substitutes that you can use to make Yuzu juice or juice that will taste relatively similar to Yuzu juice.
1. Meyer Lemon
The Meyer lemon is likely the best thing to use as a substitute for a Yuzu fruit when making Yuzu juice. The Meyer lemon is a hybrid combination of lemons and mandarins, and it has a juicy flavor that is comparable to the Yuzu fruit.
Meyer lemons are primarily grown in China. However, unlike Yuzu fruit, they are legal to import into the US and many other countries, making it a commonly accessible option. Meyer lemons are easily found in most grocery stores as a whole fruit and as a juice. People can even buy 10-pound bags of Meyer lemons. People also enjoy growing their own Meyer lemons by purchasing a tree or seeds.
The Meyer lemon is a sweet and tangy fruit that you can use to make a variation of Yuzu juice.
2. Mandarin Oranges
Hailing from the southeastern part of Asia and the Philippines, mandarin oranges are a common fruit that most Westerners easily recognize. The juice of a mandarin orange makes for a delicious Yuzu juice substitute.
Mandarin oranges can be enjoyed in various ways: by eating them as they are, chopping them into a salad, or in this case, juice creation and consumption. These fruits are also considered to be relatives of the tangerine.
Overall, Mandarin oranges are widely available in the US, and anyone can get them at a reasonable price. They can be purchased individually and in bulk. The ease of finding and purchasing Mandarin oranges makes them one of the most accessible substitutions for Yuzu juice.
Dekopon, or “sumo fruit,” is a large and round fruit that is also known as a hybrid tangerine. Coming from Japan, these extremely large, rounded fruits have a sweet and tangy flavor. They almost look like upside-down light bulbs.
Much like the Yuzu, Dekopons are scarce due to how long it takes for them to grow and be ready to be sold. It takes about four years for a Dekopon tree to begin bearing fruit, so it may be difficult for most markets to have access to the fruit. The markets that sell the fruit often sell them for about $3 per pound, so one may find this Yuzu substitute to be expensive and fairly unavailable.
You can also purchase Dekopon through different whole foods or farmer markets. They are also more easily accessible in warmer areas of the country, like California. If you don’t want to try to find a market that sells this fruit, purchase a Dekopon tree from a nursery.
At least this fruit is legal to import, unlike the Yuzu fruit. Realistically, the only downside of this alternative is the high price.
Stemming from Asia, much like the Yuzu fruit, the Sudachi is a citrus fruit that is largely popular in Japan and can be a staple fruit to your home as well.
Though juicier and with a more sour taste than the Yuzu fruit, the Sudachi continues to be a common option for juice making not only for the Japanese but also for Americans, making it another great Yuzu fruit substitution.
We should quickly note that fruits such as the Sudachi and the previously mentioned Dekopon are common at the local Asian market, so while you may not find them at your local grocery store, finding a local Asian market where they are often sold shouldn’t be a problem.
Returning to orange-like fruits, the Bergamot orange is a substitute for Yuzu fruit that can’t be ignored. Not only is the Bergamot great for juice-making, but the peel could also be perfect for those interested in creating essential oils.
The shape and color of the Bergamot are close to regular oranges, but the taste is like a hybrid of both lemons and oranges.
These also have significant health benefits, as they can lower levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), both of which, when too high, can cause heart disease. While you won’t be able to get the health benefits of the Yuzu fruit when using this substitute, you can still get some health benefits.
The Procimequat is a hybrid tangerine that provides all the taste and texture of the Yuzu fruit. This fruit was first introduced to the United States in Indio, California. Yet, it is not readily available in stores or markets. People should anticipate having to look long and hard to find it. The main reason why people go to the effort of getting a Procimequat is that it is a type of limequat. Limequats are incredibly unique, and people love the taste and texture.
Despite the taste and texture similarities to the Yuzu fruit, the Procimequate has a slightly celery-like flavor. With this in mind, you should know that anything with a touch of celery flavoring in it is usually added to salsas. Though perfect for salsas, the taste shouldn’t deter you from using this fruit to create delicious juice. In fact, it is a perfect fruit for juicing.
The Kabosu fruit is not only a great substitute for Yuzu fruit, but it also contains a hint of Yuzu itself naturally, making it a perfect and relatively easily-accessible substitute. It is most easily found at Japanese grocery stores, but people can also order Kabosu fruit online from reputable sources.
This citrus fruit is often added to seafood dishes, various sauces, and is used for glazing salmon. Juicing may be less common with this kind of fruit, but it is possible, and the product is quite good. To get the best quality juice that Kabosu can offer, leave it in the refrigerator for a while before you juice it. This will help your juice turn out fresh and delicious.
Overall, Kabosu is a citrus fruit that is known for its unique flavor and texture, and it prevents fatigue and aging, which are just a few of the many health benefits that come from consuming it.
8. Kaffir Lime
The Kaffir lime is native to Southeastern parts of Asia and is a staple for quality food and juice making. Other than creating a quality juice with a tart and sweet flavor, the Kaffir lime is well incorporated into herbal medicine due to its high-quality organic compounds. It is also often added to various types of soups. This is another tasty and healthy alternative to Yuzu fruit.
People can purchase Kaffir limes online or purchase a tree/produce from nurseries. People might be able to find them in farmer’s markets in areas that grow other citrus fruits. However, it is not guaranteed.
Along with the Kaffir lime itself, the leaves that are associated with it can be excellent add-ons that will add to the overall quality of the juice product due to the naturally occurring fragrance they produce. The leaves are found much easier than the actual fruit. Kaffir lime leaves can be found at Whole Foods and other supermarkets.
9. Buddha’s Hand
The Buddha’s Hand has an incredibly unique look to it, as it resembles an octopus, unlike the name may suggest. This oddly shaped citrus fruit has a taste similar to the previously mentioned Bergamot in that it has a lemony flavor, but its base flavor is not quite as intense as the Bergamot. People tend to use the zest in dishes, but it can be used similarly to the Yuzu fruit.
Buddha’s Hand is normally found at Japanese markets or other farmer’s markets. People often find this fruit more abundantly in the late fall and winter months.
It’s important to recognize that there are two different types of Buddha’s Hand fruit: open and closed. Open Buddha’s Hand will have the appendages of the fruit curling outward and separately from the other appendages when it is ripe. Closed Buddha’s Hand has different signs that help people recognize that it is ripe.
While this fruit is perfect for many salads and marinades, it is a fine fruit choice for juice and is a great substitute for the Yuzu fruit. If one wants to be unique with this strangely shaped, but quality-tasting citrus fruit, grab a hand of the Buddha’s Hand and get to juicing.
The high-quality citrus fruit Calamansi comes from the Philippines, and whether it is ripe or unripe, it is a great Yuzu fruit substitution and can be used in many recipes. It’s a fun fruit that has a green, almost lime-like appearance, with orange fruit inside. It’s usually found in world markets, Japanese or Filipino markets, or online.
As for juicing, if the Calamansi fruit is ripe enough, it will make an excellent and sweet-tasting juice. However, unripe Calamansi will produce a sour juice that you likely won’t want to drink. An important thing to recognize is that one Calamansi will only produce 1/3 of an ounce of juice. If a recipe calls for much more Yuzu juice, a person should anticipate purchasing many Calamansi.
If you consume this fruit, it can help your digestion, balance your cholesterol, and help your personal hygiene.
Much like both the Dekopon and the Yuzu, Dangyuja is difficult to find within the US but remains a legal import. Coming from Korea, this fruit, which comes from the pomelo family, makes for a tasty substitution for the Yuzu fruit.
Again, though this is a type of pomelo, the taste is nearly equivalent to the Yuzu, which makes it a great Yuzu substitute. Anyone who is familiar with Yuzu may well be just as familiar with the Dangyuja and will be able to recognize it.
Lastly, the Dangyuja is considered an endangered pomelo species, so make sure to try at least one before they are no longer readily available.
12. Rangpur Lime
The Rangpur lime, as an alternative to the Yuzu fruit, is convenient to purchase. Even though the Rangpur lime has many more seeds than the Yuzu fruit, it is easy to juice, especially if you have a juicer that removes seeds.
The Rangpur lime can also be put into salads, salsa, and more if you don’t want to use it to make juice.
13. Seville Orange
When it comes to Yuzu alternatives that are easy to peel and juice, the Seville orange is a great substitution that does not take much effort to juice. One caveat with this is that one must add lime juice and sugar to the juice in order to make it taste balanced. Oftentimes, the ease of producing juice with the Seville orange is what makes it appealing to consumers.
Overall, the Seville orange is easy to find and is a great Yuzu alternative.
14. Grape Juice
Grape juice is a great Yuzu juice alternative because grapes and the Yuzu fruit are acidic! Although the two types of juices taste vastly different, some people think that juicing unripe grapes produces a juice that has a similar taste to Yuzu juice.
You can create your own grape juice easily and simply by crushing and blending grapes and sugar together. If you don’t want to make your own grape juice, you can easily purchase it at nearly any grocery store in the US. Premade grape juice can come in many forms.
For example, one may use one that is labeled 100% juice or a frozen juice concentrate. Others may consider using white grape juice as a Yuzu juice alternative. Many others will choose the classic purple grape juice.
Overall, even though it will likely be hard for you to get Yuzu to make Yuzu juice, there are many other fruits that you can use as a substitute.
I hope this list has been helpful.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss the 7 Best Substitutes for Teriyaki Sauce.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.