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).
Keep ’em ideas coming and happy eating~
made with 2 tbsp of love~