Drink in a glass with lime slice and lime peel garnish
Shikuwasa Is A Unique Japanese Fruit That's Best Used In Drinks
What is Shikuwasa?
Shikuwasa is a little-known citrus fruit that is popular in Japan. It has a taste between a lime and a tangerine but with even more sour, astringent notes.
The fruit is quite tiny and looks like a smaller, flatter lime with thin skin that when peeled reveals lively orange flesh. It's well-suited for both sweet and savory dishes.
Shikuwasa is most commonly grown and eaten in Okinawa, a string of Japanese islands known as one of the world’s "blue zones," where people live longer on average.
In fact, shikuwasa is seen as one of the reasons the Okinawan population ages so well because the fruit is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids.
Even outside Okinawa, shikuwasa is popular throughout Japan and is used much like other citrus fruit — as juice, in tea, or as a flavoring for sweets like candy and ice cream.
However, because the fruit is quite sour, it’s rarely peeled and eaten raw except when at peak ripeness. Instead, it can be incorporated into marinades and vinaigrettes.
In Japanese, "shii" means "sour" while "kwaasaa" means "something to eat," making it a very apt name for the sour, tangy fruit.
However, when ripe, the fruit turns golden and has a bright, tangy flavor not unlike tangerines — just without their honeyed sweetness.
Shikuwasa is a mix of other citruses, with the size and shape of tangerines, the color of limes, the sourness of lemons, and a touch of mandarin-like sweetness.
That said, you won’t be able to replicate the health benefits of this fruit, but you can get a taste of it by combining two parts lime juice with one part tangerine juice.