Lemon Oil – Essential Cooking Condiment

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Lemon Oil

top view of lemon yuzu infused oil emulsion in white ceramic dish with wooden tasting spoon

ESSENTIAL COOKING CONDIMENTS – PART II

Lemon Oil is part II of my MOST ESSENTIAL COOKING CONDIMENTS to have in the kitchen.  Useful might be a better word, but they both use common ingredients that have a lot of savory applications if you like to cook at home.  I have used it for a long time and the versatility is amazing.  One of the more exotic ingredients in this recipe is yuzu juice.

Essential Condiment Recipes

WHAT IS YUZU?

YUZU is a citrus fruit native to Asian countries with origins in China.  The countries that use it in cooking are Korea, China and Japan.  It is become more mainstream in recent years because of increased demand in numerous culinary applications.

I have been asked many times what fruit is a good comparison.  That is probably the point of why it is so unique.  It has a very strong unique citrus flavor.  If I was forced into an answer, it would maybe be a cross between a mandarin orange, lemon and grapefruit.  That’s not even really a good example.  One of the great uses of yuzu is the flavor from the rind.  It infuses well into clear soups, broths and teas with a very aromatic smell and distinct flavor.  It is a product that could easily replace lemon in cakes, muffins, breads and even cocktails.  If you eat sushi or like Japanese restaurants, yuzu is a common ingredient in Ponzu.

WHERE TO BUY YUZU

Other applications that I have seen are cold beverages, teas and sodas.  I have had yuzu sorbet once or twice.  I have some favorite brands, but after doing some searches online it looks like they are only commercially available.  If you buy yuzu juice in a bottle, I recommend buying one that is made in Japan.  You can buy it at most Asian grocery stores, through online retailers and at some specialty grocers like Whole Foods.Yuzu Fruit

HOW MANY RECIPES CALL FOR OLIVE OIL AND LEMON JUICE?

If you cook on a regular basis there are really a lot of cuisines that use both of these ingredients.  When I make lemon oil, sometimes it is the base for a salad dressing or adding extra acid just to finish an appetizer or dish.  Acid is a major component of a balanced dish.  I am a big fan of adding anything acidic to brighten up a dish or coax out that extra flavor. *CrossEat Tip:  Use Lemon Oil in our Healthy Mediterranean salad.

misc en place for making lemon oil

MAKING THE LEMON OIL

First, start off by cutting off the top of the yellow bell pepper.  Discard seeds and stem.  

removing white membrane from yellow bell pepper with a sharp knife

Cut length-wise into fourths and cut out white membrane then discard.  Rough chop into smaller pieces.

Bring a small pan of hot water to boil.  Prepare an ice bath with 2 cups of cold water and 1 cup of ice cubes.  Blanch bell pepper in boiling water for 1 minute. 

blanching yellow bell pepper

Drain water and place bell pepper into ice bath.

*Tips:  Blanching the bell pepper softens and brings out the sweetness of the pepper.

*CrossEat Tip: Compost your pepper scraps.  

ice bathing blanched yellow bell pepper

Drain the bell pepper, then combine with lemon juice, lemon zest, yuzu juice, sugar and salt in a blender.  Blend on high speed till completely pureed. This should take about 6-8 seconds. Reduce speed on the blender slightly and slowly drizzle oil into the liquid to form an emulsion.  The look should be creamy and uniform.

*CrossEat Tip:  I love using zest in cooking whether it’s lime, oranges, lemons, or yuzu.  It really brings out the brightness and adds a touch of citrus in your food.  Don’t waste your citrus fruits.  Zest them before juicing and freeze up to 3 months.  You will always have zest on hand for recipes that call for it.  Don’t forget to compost!

top view of lemon yuzu infused oil emulsion in white ceramic dish with wooden tasting spoon and fresh lemons


WHAT IS AN EMULSION?

In this case, it is a uniform cohesion of fat (olive oil) and liquid (lemon juice and yuzu juice).  I added the bell pepper for an additional sweetness profile and to give it some body.

Refrigerate any unused portion. Natural separation will occur in a couple of days. Stir or shake to re-emulsify before use.

Thanks again for reading!

NUTRITION

Fresh lemon juice is a powerful antioxidant contain both folic and citric acid.  It is high in vitamin C with some potassium as well.  What this means is that studies have shown that lemons contain properties that can improve cardiovascular health, aide in digestion and help to reduce risks of certain cancers and liver disease.  Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat and contains anti-inflammatory and detoxifying compounds that will assist a balanced diet.  Both ingredients are low in calories and taste great with numerous culinary applications.

Yield: 2 cups

Lemon Oil

top view of lemon yuzu infused oil emulsion in white ceramic dish with wooden tasting spoon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Additional Time 3 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes

Ingredients

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup *yuzu juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup salad oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the bell pepper. We are not using the stem or seeds so, they can be saved for compost. Cut length-wise into fourths and cut out white membrane then discard. Bring a small pan of hot water to boil. Prepare an ice bath with 2 cups of cold water and 1 cup of ice cubes. Blanch bell pepper in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain water and place bell pepper into ice bath.
  2. Add bell pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, yuzu juice, sugar and salt to a blender. Blend on high speed till completely pureed. This should take about 6-8 seconds. Reduce speed on the blender slightly and slowly drizzle oil into the liquid to form an emulsion. The salad oil and olive oil can be mixed together prior to drizzling .
  3. Refrigerate any unused portion. Natural separation will occur in a couple of days. Stir or shake to re-emulsify.

Notes

1. Yuzu juice comes from yuzu which is a type of citrus. Asian markets, online stores and some specialty grocers carry yuzu juice. If you do purchase any remember to refrigerate any unused portion after you have opened the bottle.

2. Shelf life is about 10-12 days.

Did you make this recipe?

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