What is Kabosu, and Why Is It Delicious?

by Krystina Quintana

Sure, you’ve had the delicious flavors of yuzu in drinks and recipes. But, have you tried its cousin kabosu? If you’re a citrus lover, you’ll enjoy this fruit. It combines the flavors of some of the tastiest citrus fruits into one tangy fruit.

One look at this fruit in the store, and you’ll recognize it as part of the citrus family right away. It has a rind that looks similar to limes, yet it’s much larger and almost wrinkly on the exterior. Ready to learn more about this unique fruit? Let’s get into it!

What is Kabosu?

As noted, kabosu is a Japanese fruit that many people use as a marinade for meat or drink as a juice. This fruit is quite rare in Japan, as it only grows in one area. These fruits grow in the Oita Prefecture. In this area, it's common to see many eating this type of fruit. However, the rest of Japan considers them a more rare or exotic fruit.

Kabosu History

There is a constant debate on how this citrus fruit came to be. Some believe it was created from multiple citrus fruits by hand. Some believe that Kabosu naturally occurred during accidental cross pollution between yuzu and bitter oranges. Whatever the case, it originates in China.

It is said that this citrus fruit was brought to Japan in the Edo Period. Legend notes that a Japanese doctor took this fruit from its original owner – a monk. Then, he planted the fruit in Oita Prefecture. Kabosu continues to be a popular fruit here, with 90% of this particular citrus grown in Oita. This citrus fruit has been cultivated in Oita for 300 years!

What Does Kabosu Taste Like?

This Japanese citrus fruit is a fun combination of lime, lemon, and yuzu. It's sour, tangy, and offers a unique flavor not typically found in only one citrus fruit. The skin of this fruit is edible and provides a delicious sour citrus flavor.

Like most citrus, this fruit has an acidic flavor and slight sweetness. As for why this fruit is delicious, it's a versatile ingredient that many enjoy because of its unique taste.  


What Can You Make With Kabosu?

While you can typically use this tasty citrus in place of lime, lemon, and yuzu in recipes, you’ll likely find this fruit in cocktails. Alcohol and citrus always seem to pair together well. So it’s easy to see why multiple alcoholic beverages feature this fruit.

Another way to use kabosu is to brighten up salads. You can include it in your dressing for a pop of flavor. Or, add some juice from the fruit to soy sauce for a unique ponzu sauce. The options are endless with kabosu!

Where Can You Find This Japanese Fruit?

If you live nearby a Japanese grocery store, you may luck out and find this Japanese fruit in the produce section. You can purchase them online for those who do not have access to an Asian market.

Try Dondoyaki Honpo Kabosu Nuts Sable Cookie (16 Pieces) if you're looking for a quick fix. These delicious butter cookies have a kabosu flavor. Not only does this fruit brighten up the cookies, but it also makes these authentic Japanese snacks taste less rich.


Looking For A Different Type of Kabosu?

Maybe you heard the name kabosu, and you immediately thought of cryptocurrency. It's hard not to think of this topic when so many discuss it immediately! For those that aren't aware, there is another type of cryptocurrency named after the creator of this cryptocurrency’s dog.

While you may not be able to buy real kabosu currency here, you can stay in the cryptocurrency theme and purchase an SK Japan Shiba Inu Drawstring Bag. This adorable bag features a popular Japanese character who works at a rice shop.

Want something that’s Shiba Inu themed but with a unique twist? The Tomo Corporation Fuzzy Cotton Animal Face Bag is another super cute bag with the image of a Shiba Inu dog mixed with a sloth.

Have a hankering for other Japanese snacks that may or may not share a name with crypto? Bokksu Boutique of japanese snacks is the best place to find savory and sweet items like Japanese candy/Japanese sweets, sauces, noodles, etc.

If you're unsure where to start, you can try a Japanese snack box or Japanese candy box. Or, sign up for a Japanese snack subscription box for yummy new snacks delivered monthly. 


By Krystina Quintana

Author Bio

Krystina Quintana is a 29-year-old copywriter living outside of Chicago, IL. Her passion for Asian culture began at a young age as she learned to create Asian-inspired recipes like homemade sushi with her family. This interest in Asian culture continues today with time spent in the kitchen and copywriting pursuits. Krystina has worked with customers ranging from small businesses to food Youtubers with 70,000+ subscribers. With a passion for food and travel, she seeks to help businesses bring traffic to their page by writing blog posts that are engaging, informative, and fun to read.