‘Tis the Season For Shikuwasa – Okinawa’s Fruit of Youth and Vitality

Jannine Myers

The end of summer in Okinawa is typically when you see a lot of shikuwasa at the farmer’s markets and local supermarkets. Shikuwasa, otherwise known as Citrus Depressa, is found mostly in Taiwan and Japan. It looks like a lime, but it’s inside resembles more of a lemony flesh, and it’s taste is much more sour than both lemons and limes.

Shikuwasa is considered by local Okinawans to be one of their most healthiest fruits, due to it’s rich antioxidant content and natural healing properties that include improving diabetes and slowing the aging process.

I brought home a full bag of shikuwasa fruit the other day, and yesterday I got busy creating a recipe; the end result was a shikuwasa sweet bread made with brown rice flour and coconut milk.



First, make a sweet shikuwasa sauce:

1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus 3 tbsps water

1⁄2 cup organic sugar

Squeezed juice from a whole bag of shikuwasa (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)

1⁄4 cup water

[In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the 3 tablespoons of water. In a small saucepan stir together the sugar, the shikuwasa juice and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and boil, stirring, for about 30 seconds or until the sauce thickens].

Second, make the bread:

1½ cups brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Approximately 1/3 cup shikuwasa sauce (reserve remaining sauce)

1/4 cup agave syrup

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten

Juice and rind of 1 lime



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan with coconut oil.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller bowl, mix together wet ingredients and add to the flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared loaf tin.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when placed in center of bread.

Remove bread from oven, and using a toothpick or fork, poke a few deep holes in the top of the loaf. Pour the remaining sauce over the bread, spreading evenly to ensure the entire loaf is nicely glazed. If you have any leftover limes, use one to grate some rind over the loaf.

[Note: this bread is best served warm, and is especially good with a nice cup of hot ginger tea]

The following video has nothing to do with shikuwasa, but I thought you might enjoy it nonetheless – it’s a short clip about getting back to the type of lifestyle that led to longevity among older generation Okinawans.