Candied kumquats – like little oranges but better!

Translated from Chinese as “gold orange“, kumquats are quite the beauty. It’s pretty amazing how these cute little guys pack so much punch!  Used in China as a cold remedy relieving cough and moving energy, they are in full season at farmers market now here in LA!

I must say that I was intimidated the first time I saw them – like oranges that’s been shrunk big time.  ”Eat them whole, rind and all!”, the guy at the Farmers Market said.  If it’s too sour, then squeeze out the juice and just eat the rest.  Having memories of having bit through the rind as I attempted to peel an orange – I expected it to be bitter and unpleasant.  Indeed, it does takes some getting used to as it’s not a texture you’ve experienced before, “bursty”, crunchy and chewy all the same time.  First bite – the bold, sour juice bursts in your mouth.  Pucker up, baby!  It’s pretty tart!  Then it’s followed with a mellow orange rind taste and texture as you bite into it.  Pretty kewl~  Now – I’m not one of those folks who can pop them in my mouth like popcorn but I do think it’s a pretty sexy fruit that can be incorporated into many everyday dishes, everything from yogurt to poultry.  Your guests will be impressed!

Here’s a way to enjoy them, bit mellowed and lasting through more than a few days~

Candied kumquats recipe

1 cup of kumquats (sliced)

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

1 inch vanilla bean (scraped) or vanilla extract (1 tsp)

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1) Toss kumquats with evaporated cane juice, vanilla bean and cinnamon.

2) Pour mixture into a medium size pan with ~ 1/2 cup of water (until submerged) and cook on medium heat for ~15-20 min until ~1/3 of the water evaporates and it’s no longer watery but slightly syrupy and clings to your spoon.

3) Cool candied kumquats, pour into a wide-mouth jar and store in refrigerator for ~2 wks.

Ways to enjoy candied kumquats:

1) As a topper on greek yogurt (my fav) with some slivered almonds.

2) As a salad topper or chopped in your vinaigrette (I used non-candied ones here but would be even better with the candied ones~)

3) As a relish to a poultry dish (mmm~  mixed with some jus from roasted chicken) or as part of a marinade (candied kumquats, ginger, garlic and soy marinated pork chops) brighten up the flavor and add some “zing”.

4) Sliced thinly to serve with bouillabaisse (wish I had it before I made this).

You could even mix it with some vanilla ice cream for dessert~  That would be good.

Keep ‘em ideas coming and happy eating~

made with 2 tbsp of love~


About chefkelly

Leveraging a lifelong passion for food and combining a unique cultural mesh of korean cuisine, robust flavors of Texas BBQ and California cuisine, Chef Kelly brings her own signature style to delectable perfect bites exploring complex and often surprising interplay of flavors, textures and colors. She has honed and shared her craft through her experiences from five star restaurant kitchens to private cooking instruction to her self-written food blog at all made with 2 tablespoons of love; love for food, love for life.
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4 Responses to Candied kumquats – like little oranges but better!

  1. blessin says:

    OMG! What a great idea! I always eat them plain. LOVE kumquats.

  2. Love this! And love the color this adds to any dish! Bookmarked!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

    • chefkelly says:

      Thanks, Mary.

      Your blog posts are making me drool today – got to try some of your recipes like the upsidedown banana toffee cake sounds amazing in this weird rainy in Los Angeles weather. Glad you liked the post – I’ll come to yours for dessert inspirations…thanks:)

  3. Your husband says:

    Nice pics!! Great lighting!! How’d you do it?

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