Yuzu Ice Cream 柚子アイスクリーム

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Yuzu Ice Cream | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Yuzu (柚子), a small yellow or green citrus fruit, has become popular in the United States for the past decade as a lot of chefs started to use it in their cuisines.  In Japan yuzu has been around for centuries and one of my favorite yuzu flavored food is creamy Yuzu Ice Cream.

Yuzu Ice Cream | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Yuzu is originally from China, but it’s mostly used in Japanese and Korean cuisines.  Yuzu’s flavor is tart but has amazing aroma; therefore, it is rarely eaten as a fruit and aromatic zest and juice are only used just like how we use lemon for recipes.

I know fresh yuzu is very hard to find outside of Japan and Korea so I thought of using other yuzu products.  I like to use bottled yuzu juice for my cooking, but this is also not easy to find if you don’t have a Japanese grocery store nearby.  My third option was Korean Yuzu Tea (Yuja Cha, Citron Tea).  You can find this product in most Korean and Asian/Japanese grocery stores.  Although it is called “yuzu tea”, it’s more like yuzu marmalade.  The marmalade is typically made from honey and yuzu fruit.  It also includes yuzu zest so it works perfectly for yuzu ice cream!

The ice cream recipe is very easy and the custard is pretty similar to other ice cream recipes I have.  The resulting ice cream has the perfect balance of sweet and refreshing citrus flavor.  I hope you give it a try especially if you love yuzu!

Yuzu Ice Cream | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Yuzu Ice Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 quart (liter)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¾ (156g) cup sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp. Yuzu Tea (Yuzu Cha, Yujacha, Citron Tea) and more for garnish
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy (it’ll take about 2-3 minutes).
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer (do NOT let the milk boil).
  3. SLOWLY add the warm milk into the egg mixture whisking constantly at the lowest speed (pour in spoonful by spoonful at the beginning). Once the mixture gets warmed up, slowly pour the rest of milk and mix all together.
  4. Transfer the custard back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula, until thick enough to coat the back of the spatula, about 4-5 minutes or so. NEVER let the custard boil because your custard will turn into scrambled eggs.
  5. Pour the heavy cream into a medium size glass bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the ice bathed heavy cream bowl and pour the custard into the heavy cream.
  6. Whisk in Yuzu Tea and salt. Stir until cool over the ice bath and chill the custard thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  7. Pour the custard into ice cream maker and process the mixture in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually about 25 minutes). Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm.
  8. Serve yuzu ice cream and garnish with yuzu tea.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, click here.

For egg white recipes, click here.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. Yuzu is one of my absolute favorite finds upon moving to Japan! I’m a sucker for trying anything that has yuzu in the name. Can’t wait to try this recipe as well. ~Courtney

  2. Lily Kozai

    So can we use fresh yuzu juice in place of the yuzu tea? Will it change the flavor? We have fresh yuzu from a tree from my Uncle’s house. Thanks for all your oishii recipes!

    • Yuzu tea is like marmalade texture, and very sweet. If you use fresh yuzu, make sure to add some honey to sweeten. :) I’m so jealous of your uncle’s yuzu tree!

  3. Oh Nami! How you reminded me of yuzu!! The very first time I had yuzu drink was on a Japan Airline flight and instantly fell in love with the flavor. It was my drink of choice for the many times I took that Japan Airline flight from Tokyo to Singapore. Never tasted yuzu flavored ice cream but I can tell how divine it must taste.

  4. This is exciting! I’ve read so many recipes for yuzu dishes (okay, mostly desserts…) but I’ve never actually seen yuzu in stores, so I thought I couldn’t make them. I’m sure I can track down the tea, though…thanks so much for the tip! OH, and the ice cream? Faaaabulous. Love it.

  5. Interesting that yuzu tea looks more like jam! Is it from China? I’ve been trying to find yuzu at Japanese stores near here but cannot find it. Now that I know it’s from China, perhaps I should look for the Chinese name instead. This seems so refreshing.

  6. Great minds think alike! I just made yuzu ice cream with yuzu juice. What a great idea to use yuzu cha! 明日柚子茶を探しに行きます。なみさんのアイスクリームは美味しいそう!

  7. I have never tried yuzu but I love citrus and my mouth was watering just reading your description! The look of the jam is incredible too. I have a pretty well stocked Asian store right down the road, I will see if they have some.
    I would love this ice cream, especially creamy citrus flavour, so delicious.


  8. Orchidea

    Nice!!! I like this ice cream already. Last Christmas I bought a bottle of Swedish Christmas wine called “glögg” that was flavored with Yuzu (it was the flavor of the year) and it was the first time I heard about this fruit. So I searched info on the Internet and I learned a lot about it. Nice to see another way to use this fruit.
    Really nice post!

    • I’m so happy to hear yuzu flavor is appearing in Swedish wine! 😀 I hope this citrus fruit will be easily available everywhere in the world one day. :)

  9. I haven’t encountered this fruit, at least I think so. Could be that it might exist here but that it’s known as something else. Who knows right? ^.^
    Looks like you are in a ice cream making mood. Aww I wish I had an ice cream maker (and less troubling insects around).

  10. What an interesting post! I’ve never had Yuzu before, and now I’m intrigued. Must go search when I go to the Japanese grocery in our area. Thanks for this helpful post. Those ice cream scoops look so good! Have a great week & thanks for the blog visits, Nami !

  11. Kimmi

    The color of the yuzu ice cream is so pretty! Seeing the photos that you posted makes me want to go out and get some ice cream now… =) Thanks for sharing the recipe for another fantastic summer treat!

  12. Nami, I think this is the most genius recipe I’ve seen you post on your site!!! I absolutely LOVE yuzu, and I’m always so sad I can’t find fresh yuzu (let alone yuzu-flavored anything) outside of Japan/Korea, other than yuzu-cha. I have thought about trying to maybe use yuzu-cha as jam before (even though it’s kind of too sweet/thick for that) but I had never thought about cooking with it, and definitely would never have thought of adding it to ice cream! I love this idea! And I always have a jar of yuzu-cha in my fridge (even though I mostly drink it in the winter months) so this is the perfect summer use for it. :) I wish I weren’t about to travel out of town for a week… I want to make this as soon as I get back to my own kitchen!

    • Allison, you made me so happy! Thank you! Once you’re hooked on yuzu, you won’t forget the aroma and flavor. I’m so thankful for Korean yuzu tea (yujacha/citron tea)… I drink it all the time but for a long time I didn’t even realize that I could make yuzu ice cream with it. When I made yuzu sour (alcohol drink) for the blog, I realized I could use it for a lot of recipes. 😀 I hope you enjoy this recipe! Thanks for your kind comment!

  13. Hi Nami! I am very curious about yuzu because I have never seen a fresh one. It looks like a lot of the citrus fruit that I know and I wonder what sets it apart. I have seen that yuzu tea in the Oriental shops and am very tempted to give this recipe a go.

  14. Hi Nami! I so appreciate you linking to my post based on your delicious sesame cookies. I read your blog all the time and love your recipes. What a great idea to use yuzu marmalade in ice cream. Having a Japanese dad, I grew up with bottled yuzu, but I never thought of the flavor in an ice cream. Looking forward to trying this!

  15. Interesting Nami, never tried Yuzu and if sounds like how you’ve described it, we would love it. Your icecream looks so creamy.
    I love your blog for so many reasons and here’s one, I get to learn about Yuzu:)

  16. Love eating ice cream but too lazy to make so I shall settle for store bought ones:P This yuzu flavored ice cream is unique but I don’t think we can get it here. Looks like I shall have to make it myself if I want to eat it lol!

  17. I think it’s hard to find fresh yuzu in Malaysia too (I’ve never seen them before) but that bottle of yuzu tea looks familiar. I love the taste of yuzu, very refreshing and tangy, think I’ll love this ice cream.

  18. Nami-san, I love Yuzu and putting it in a delicious cold and creamy dessert is the perfect idea to end out the summer. I have not tried the tea that you have photographed so will look for it next time. It almost looks like a jam. I bet that would be lovely in lots of desserts. PS. On a side note, I am looking for some different lunch ideas for my boys so looking forward to some interesting bento box creations from Just One Cookbook… only if it is convenient…when your kids start back to school. Ja Mata, BAM

  19. Oh wow……your ice cream looks so creamy and delicious…..mmmm. I’m bookmarking this. Actually I have to try and make soon before the summer is over. Oh….this would be so good with apple crumble. I’ll surely let you know if I make this. Thanks very much for the recipe, Nami!

  20. Never heard of Yuzu before but this Ice cream looks great so I’ll try to get it at our local market where they have several stands specialized in Japanese goodies.
    Thanks for sharing Nami!

  21. I’ve never seen (I don’t think) or tasted a yuzu before.. what a lovely and refreshing sounding ice cream it must be! I’ll have to watch for either the fruit or the jam, Nami, it would be such a great find. It must be wonderful on toast as well? xx

  22. OH my….I adore yuzu and always have a bottle of that yuzu tea in my pantry. Can’t wait to give this a try. Sounds refreshing and just what I needed now. :) Have a great weekend. Pining this to my board.

  23. Hi Nami, this looks so delicious! love yuzu cha :) I don’t own an ice cream maker, and too lazy to make without ice cream maker :p but this is so tempting! :) I remember having pear flavor ice cream in Switzerland, very yummy too! :)

  24. Balvinder

    Never heard of yuzu tea or juice but this ice cream looks delicious enough to find out more about this aromatic Chinese fruit.

  25. さわやか~!私は柚子ハニー持ってます。なんだか落ち着く味と香りです。大分の由布院の名物の柚子がめっちゃすごいですよ。いつも美味しそう。写真がきれい!

  26. Patricia Hollm

    As I now have an ice cream machine I want to try your Yuzu Ice Cream recipe. The problem-where on earth can I get Yuzu around here. Well, I was over at Inno Bakery, yes a Korean Bakery, and there on a shelf was a jar of Yuzu Tea. Thanks to you I know what it is and will be trying your recipe!

    • I’m glad I talked about the Yuzu Tea! Most Korean stores carry it as they drink it often (melt the marmarlade in hot water). Hope you enjoy yuzu ice cream. So delicious! :)

  27. Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen

    I wish Yuzu was easier to find here in the US–it’s so delicious! I’ve used the “tea” to make fabulous cocktails though. Definitely a recommendation…

  28. I told you before how much i love your props, and pictures are stunning too! I never tried yuzu, maybe it will pop up in my Asian market one day but I have seen both yuzu juice and marmalade. Looks fantastic and I can imagine sweet, creamy, bit tangy, and citrusy flavor–perfect for summer!

  29. Nami, I have fallen in love with yuzu as soon as I tasted it. I hope to bring lots of yuzu fruits next time I go to Japan (last year I brought only two…). I wish I could find them here or at least the yuzu tea (we don’t have Korean shops, only some Korean products at different Asian shops). Your ice-cream must be extraordinary. I hope I might find it in Japan…

  30. It sure looks good, but never having had yuzu I have no idea what it would taste like. I’m always game to try something new. :) Gorgeous ice cream!

  31. I love learning about food, I have never heard of Yuzu, but it sounds lovely! Your ice cream sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing, Hugs, Terra

  32. Jenny

    This looks delicious, Nami! Thank you for sharing :)
    BTW: where did you get the ice cream bowls in the photo? They’re beautiful!
    Thanks :)

    • Hi Jenny! Thank you so much. :) Those are sake cups – it was one of those (cheap) Japanese sake set that I bought from Japanese ceramic store in the U.S. I’m glad you like them. I wanted to serve this ice cream with more “Japanese” styling and my husband suggested these sake cups. Hehee.

  33. Lydia

    My friends and I enjoy this tea when we are ill. Today is Sumo Sunday – and we always get together to watch the matches over some delicious food. I made this ice cream for today – but may not be sharing it due to the typhoon. I guess I’ll have to console myself with a dish of ice cream! (I was going to compliment it with the Yuzu chuhai.)

    • Hi Lydia! I drink this tea when I’m ill or have throat ache. 😀 But that made me so addicted that it’s my night time drink sometimes…while blogging. I hope you enjoyed this ice cream! :) I want to join your Sumo Sunday – sounds fun with delicious food!

      • SteveinSC

        I live in South Carolina and I have three Yuzu trees in my yard. Maybe 40-50 fruit on them now and they are turning yellow. If anyone wants some, I can send a few by mail or ship them if someone wants to help with the shipping cost. I hate to waste these, but no one around here knows what they are. I make vinaigrette, marmalade, and Yuzu cakes but I also have Ichang Lemons and tangerines more than I can possibly use.

        • Hi Steve! Yuzu cake! That sounds so delicious! It’s wonderful that you get yuzu in your yard and thank you so much for your kind offer, too! I know who to contact when I need fresh yuzu. :)