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.

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: meaning Flavorful Acid Citrus).

Kosan Kankitsu is the Japanese classification for citrus fruit with a strong acidic taste that isn’t suitable for eating raw,

and it also includes 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

Regarding the production area, Kochi is the country’s top producer of Yuzu. But this citrus is widely cultivated in various regions of Japan.

While the top producer of Kabosu is Oita, Tokushima has the largest harvest of Sudachi, accounting 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 acidic taste and a distinctive fragrance different from the lemon. When Ao-Yuzu or Green Yuzu has fully ripened, its color becomes yellow.

The Yellow Yuzu or Ki-Yuzu is widely used in Japanese foods and dishes such as Suimono soup, jam, confections, spices (ex. 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 a refreshing aroma.

In Japan, this 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 taste and is rich in juice compared to Yuzu and Sudachi.

So Kabosu is usually squeezed, and the juice is commonly dripped on grilled fish, also 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 promotes appetite, gets rid of fatigue, and improves sensitivity to cold.

Sudachi is packed with vitamin C and citric acid. This citrus fruit promotes appetite, improves intestinal movement, and relieves fatigue.

Kabosu is also a rich source of vitamin C and citric acid. It relieves fatigue and is effective in anti-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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