Recipe: Korean-style bitter orange and lime tea

No photos for this recipe, because I couldn’t find a way to make boiled citrus fruits photogenics.

This is based on the Korean yuja-cha (also known by its Japanese name yuzucha), and it’s effectively a marmalade you put in a jar and keep in the fridge. To make it up into tea, you just put a spoonful in a cup and fill it with boiling water. This recipe was mainly just something I did to use up the fruit from a bitter orange tree that I impulsively purchased, but it is really good.

Ingredients (makes about 10 mugs)

8 bitter oranges

3 limes

2 sweet oranges

100 g sugar

250 g honey

Optional: 100 ml of spirits (port or whiskey are good)


Sterilise jam jars by whatever method you prefer.

Slice the citrus fruits thinly, removing the seeds and the stems, but keeping everything else. If possible, use a chopping board with raised edges so you don’t lose the juice.

Add the fruit straight to a saucepan with the sugar, spirits and a bit of water, and simmer, stirring regularly. If it starts to dry out, add more water. Once the peel has softened and the mixture has started to turn caramel-gold, take it off the heat. You can add the honey now, or save it for when you make the drinks later. Pour the marmalade into the jars and let it cool.

To serve, add one dessert spoon of marmalade per mug (plus a large teaspoon of honey, if you didn’t add it at cooking) and top it up with boiling water. Stir until all the honey has dissolved and the chunks of fruit are no longer sticky. When you finish the drink, you can eat the leftover fruit, or put it in the compost. Enjoy!

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