Food & Drinks

How to Eat Kumquats: Recipes and Tips

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How to Eat Kumquats: Recipes and Tips

Have you ever tried kumquats? These dinky fruits, sometimes called Chinese oranges, are an unusual citrus fruit in that the skin is sweet and zesty, while the inside has a tart, fresh and acidic taste.

The versatile fruit can be eaten both raw and cooked, and adds a splash of colour to your menu come the colder months, from winter salads to cocktails. Here are our tips for how to eat kumquats and enjoy them at their best.

How to Eat Kumquats?

Unlike some other citrus fruits, kumquats can be eaten whole, like a grape, skin and all. Choose a kumquat with orange, shiny and firm skin, be sure to wash and wipe the fruit well to remove any dirt and pesticides, then roll it between your fingers to release the essential oils before popping in your mouth.


If you don't like the bitter taste of the seeds, cut the kumquat in half and remove the inside seeds inside prior to eating (although they are entirely edible if their flavour doesn't worry you).


Rasmus Lerdorf/Flickr

Kumquats keep for a couple of days in the open air and up to two weeks if stored in a tightly sealed box in the refrigerator.



The fresh and tart flavour of kumquats makes them perfect for adding another dimension to salads. Try experimenting by adding a few slices into a rocket and mozzarella salad or this hearty greens with kumquat salad from Bon Appetit.


Have a surplus of the small fruits and don't know how to cook kumquats? Simmer them in a simple syrup and turn them into a delicious marmalade or chutney! Here's a handy kumquat marmalade recipe over at Epicurious

Marinade for meat or fish

Kumquats also marry very well with meat. Whether used as a marinade for grilled chicken breasts or in this stunning dish for lamb shanks with kumquat, cardamon, fennel and mint from "eat in my kitchen."

And just like lemon, kumquat goes very well with seafood. At the Gelinaz Walk with Us event in London chefs Enrico Crippa and Claude Bosi embraced the kumquat in a ceviche style dish at Lyle’s, building on the theme of scallop, citrus and fennel using kumquat, chilli and black sesame seed oil.

Dessert Time

Anna Markow

Much like other citrus, kumquats add a freshness to dessert time. Here's a recipe for a zesty kumquat tart from Serious Eats – no zesting and juicing required, as the kumquats simply get blended up to make the filling.

Kick up cocktails

And for all you cocktail lovers, if you want to kick up your winter tipple and go for some extra zing you can always try making a kumquat and pink pepper spritzer!

Find out about 10 Unusual Citrus Fruits

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