Kumquat Recipes – Sweet to Savory

by Pamela

kumquat recipes, preserved kumquats

Have you been seeing these cute oblong orange fruits at your market for a couple of months now? Been wondering what they are or what to do with them? You’re in luck today…I’m here to help you with this conundrum. They’re called kumquats (funny name, I know). They’re an Asian citrus fruit that works in sweet and savory dishes. Plus, you can eat the whole thing. Okay, maybe not the seeds. Hold on to your seats…here come the kumquat recipes!

These little flavor bombs are a fantastic addition to salads. Not only do they add a burst of bright color, but their sweet tart flavor is a surefire way to make even the dullest of salads taste more delicious. All you need to do is wash and slice. Sprinkle the slices liberally over top of your salad and enjoy. They taste especially good when tossed into a steak salad (just sayin’).

Kumquat Recipes - Kumquat Cocktail

A couple of years ago I posted a kumquat infused vodka recipe. This was the key ingredient in a cocktail I call the kumquat summer tease. One of the nice things about infusing the vodka with kumquats is that it allows you to enjoy kumquats in the summer months when they’re no longer in season. Some people can, to preserve seasonal ingredients, but I prefer to infuse them in vodka. That’s the only kind of preserving produce that I can get in to. Plus, it preserves the liver too. So you get a two-fer.

Kumquat Recipes - Candied Kumquats

Kumquats are also a great way to amp up the orange flavor in recipes. These chocolate orange cupcakes get an extra sweet, and citrusy punch, from a preserved kumquat perched on top of the rich chocolate and orange frosting.

Kumquat Recipes - Marmalade

Then there’s marmalade. Sure, you can make it the traditional way…with oranges (Seville oranges if you’re really going authentic) but why not mix things up a bit? Kumquat marmalade is one of those kumquat recipes that I make every year. I love how it’s not overly sweet (like traditional marmalade can be some times). It’s also a lot easier to make than you would think and you don’t have to make a huge batch of it. This also does not need to be canned (see above). It’s just a fresh marmalade recipe that you make and eat for a few weeks.

Preserved Kumquats

How about some preserved kumquats? You’ve heard of preserved lemons (if you’ve read a food blog at any point in the last 5 years, you’ve probably been inundated with preserved lemon recipes), but guess what…you can do the same thing with kumquats. This is one of those seldom heard of kumquat recipes, but they’re really delicious. You can use them in the same way (and recipes) as those preserved lemons. If you like to use the lemons, the preserved kumquats will give your dish just enough of a different flavor to spice up your favorite dish but won’t drastically change the overall flavor. Just a nice little change.

So don’t just walk past those cute little kumquats. Toss some in a bag and go home and make some of these kumquat recipes. I promise, you’ll be hooked on kumquats.

Kumquat Recipes - Sweet to Savory
Prep time
Total time
Those cute little orange fruits you've been seeing are kumquats. What to do with them? Here's a few sweet to savory kumquat recipes. Oh, and a cocktail too.
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 1
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cinnamon Stick (broken up)
  • Fresh Ginger (peeled and sliced into small pieces)
  • Kumquats (any green stems removed)
  • Lemon Juice
  1. Pour a tablespoon of kosher salt into a clean, sterilized jar.
  2. Slice an X in the bottom of the kumquats that goes ¾ of length of the fruit.
  3. Slightly open the kumquat and pour as much salt into the open fruit as you can.
  4. Close the fruit and pack into the jar.
  5. Layer in ginger and cinnamon stick.
  6. Continue doing this with all the ingredients until the jar is full.
  7. Top off jar with lemon juice.
  8. Put the lid onto the jar and place into a cool dark place for 2 weeks.
  9. Use as you would preserved lemons.
I used a ½ pint jar to make mine. You can use whatever jar size you like. The quantities of ingredients you'll need depend on how large your container is.


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Judy at Two Broads Abroad March 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

What a great idea for kumquats. I usually just made a spicy jam but now I will preserve them. Thanks so much,

Pamela March 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Hi Judy.

Yep, I could only eat so much kumquat marmalade. 😉 I could only make a small jar (since we were moving) but I’ll definitely be making a jar about the size of my preserved lemons next year.

Brooks March 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

I haven’t thought of kumquats in years, and I vaguely remember my grandparents using them. You’ve got quite a history of recipes utilizing the fruit here—each one inspires me to rethink passing them over at the market stand. Thank you for the reminder!

Pamela March 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Hi Brooks!

I just can’t get past kumquats without buying a bunch of them. Since you can only slice so many on a salad…I needed to put them to good use. I HIGHLY recommend the infused vodka.

John@Kitchen Riffs March 12, 2014 at 9:30 am

I need this post! I never do anything with kumquats. Well, except giggle at their name. 😉 But you’ve opened my eyes — thanks!

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