Yuzu vs Sudachi vs Kabosu: Japanese Citrus Fruit

When it comes to citrus fruit used in Japanese cooking, what comes to my mind right away is “Yuzu (ユズ)”, “Sudachi (スダチ)”, and “Kabosu (カボス)”.

Among them, I think Yuzu is the best-known, but how does it differ from Sudachi and Kabosu? This time, I researched that online.

The Difference: Yuzu vs Sudachi vs Kabosu

Hon-Yuzu (本柚子)Hon Yuzu

Yuzu, Sudachi, and Kabosu are all classified into “Kosan Kankitsu (香酸柑橘: Flavorful Acid Citrus)”. Kosan Kankitsu is the Japanese classification for citrus fruit that has a strong acidity and isn’t suitable for eating raw.

By the way, other examples of Kosan Kankitsu include lime, key lime, yellow lemon, green lemon, Daidai orange, and Sikuwasa.


#1. Kabosu (カボス)Kabosu

#2. Ao-Yuzu (青柚子)Ao Yuzu

#3. Sudachi (スダチ)Sudachi

Yuzu, Sudachi, and Kabosu are very similar in appearance, but you can tell them apart by size.

The largest is Kabosu, which has about the same size as a tennis ball. The smallest is Sudachi, which has about the same size as a golf ball. And the rest, Yuzu has the intermediate size between Kabosu and Sudachi.

Production Area

Tokushima Prefecture’s Specialty SudachiSudachi from Tokushima

In terms of production areas, Kochi is the country’s largest producer of Yuzu, but Yuzu is widely cultivated in various regions of Japan.

On the other hand, the largest producer of Kabosu is Oita, while Tokushima has the largest harvest of Sudachi, which accounts for about 90 percent of the total production in Japan.


Japanese Yuzu Bath called “Yuzuyu (柚子湯)”Yuzuyu Citrus Bath

Yuzu has a strong acidity and a distinctive fragrance. When Ao-Yuzu or Green Yuzu has fully ripened, its color becomes yellow.

The Yellow Yuzu or Ki-Yuzu is widely used in Japanese food such as Suimono soup, jam, confections, spices (e.g. Yuzu Shichimi), and tea. Also, in the winter, the yellow citrus fruit is used in the bathwater, and some Japanese bath salts contain the fruit’s essence. 

Grilled Saury with SudachiGrilled Saury with Sudachi

Sudachi has moderate acidity and features its refreshing aroma. In Japan, the citrus fruit often comes with Matsutake mushrooms, sashimi, or grilled fish such as saury, as shown in the photo above.

Kabosu has a strong sour acidic taste and is rich in juice compared to Yuzu and Sudachi. So Kabosu is usually used by being squeezed, and the squeezed juice is often dripped on grilled fish, as well as being used in Ponzu sauce and Sunomono dishes.

Health Benefits

Citrus Fruit Kabosu

Yuzu has plenty of vitamin C, citric acid, tartaric acid, and malic acid, and is effective in promoting appetite, recovery from fatigue, and improving cold sensitivity.

Sudachi is packed with vitamin C and citric acid. The citrus fruit helps promote appetite and intestinal movement and relieves fatigue.

Kabosu is also rich in vitamin C and citric acid and is effective in relieving fatigue and preventing aging.

(Reference Pages: Olive-Hitomawashi, Foodie, JA Fukuoka )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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