Kinkan fruits are a very popular citrus fruit in Japan, and when I was a kid, I often secretly ate them in my garden.
The harvest season is from November to March (in Japan,) and the taste is addictive sweet, and bitter, and I like making Kinkan sour cocktails at home during the harvest season.
A citrus fruit called Kinkan in Japan and Kumquat in English looks like a very small orange.
Its scientific name is Citrus japonica.
The kumquat is a fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family and is native to China. It was introduced to Japan from China and has been used as a traditional healing practice since ancient times.
The most appealing point of this fruit is you can eat the skin without peeling.
How To Store
Store fresh Kinkan fruits in a cool, dark place indoors. Consume them in a week.
If you want to store them for longer, put them in a plastic bag and keep them in a crisper. They can be stored for about 2 weeks.
Making a Jam is also recommended for Kinkan as a staple fruit preservation. Use whole Kinkan fruits without peeling.
Alternatively, make Kinkan puree and keep it in a fridge or freezer.
However, Kinkan fruit has many seeds for its size, you’ll need some effort to remove all.
Add some water when the juice is not enough to make a puree.
You can bake Kinkan sweets such as muffins, pound cakes, tarts, or even homemade bread.
Additionally, drinking hot water added to Kinkan puree and honey helps heal a sore throat.
Health Benefits Of Kinkan Fruit
Kinkan fruit can be easily incorporated into your daily meal such as fresh cuts, jam or puree, and dried Kinkan.
The peel is rich in vitamin C and calcium as well as vitamin A, which are expected to help a healthy immune system when you catch (or prevent) a cold.
Dried sliced Kinkan is perfect to keep in your pantry since it’ll last longer.
Simply, as a bedtime drink add a teaspoon of honey which also helps the immunity system.
Not only as a relaxation drink, but these bitter dried peels are also great with dark chocolate for rum.
Sore Throat Relief
Kumquat is rich in vitamins that support the healthy mucous membranes of the throat and nose. In addition, you can expect the effect of improving the immunity system.
Kinkan fruits are rich in vitamin C which is essential to form collagen.
Besides, Kinkan can be eaten as a whole fruit that helps to intake vitamins effectively.
Hesperidin (often called vitamin P) is a type of polyphenol that can be found mainly in citrus fruits’ peels. It helps absorb vitamin C, strengthens capillaries, and improves blood flow.
Hesperidin can be expected to reduce not only neutral fat levels but also bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. In addition, the dietary fiber contained in the peels helps improve the digestion system.
Easy Kinkan Marmalade
- 2 cups Kinkan fruits (about 30 fruits)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 TSP lemon juice
- ⅓ cup water if needed
- [Prep] Wash the Kinkan fruits thoroughly. Remove stems if needed.
- [Prep] In a large pot, add Kinkan fruits and cover them with plenty of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once the water gets boiled, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the fruits until the peels start tearing. Drain the Kinkan fruits.
- On a cutting board, press the Kinkan fruit gently until the pulp is out of the peel. Repeat this for the remaining fruits. Remove all seeds.
- Slice up the pulps and peels.
- In a pot, place the sliced Kinkan fruits and peels, sugar, and lemon juice. Over low heat, simmer them while stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes until the marmalade becomes thicker as you like.
- Add the water if needed in case the Kinkan fruits that do not contain enough juice.
- Kumquats (Kinkan) are highly acidic, so avoid using an aluminum pot.
- As a guide, the amount of sugar is about 50%-70% of the total weight of Kinkan. Adjust the amount to your liking.
HOW TO MAKE KINKAN SOUR
- 1 high ball glass, chilled
- 2 ounces Japanese Shochu (KOME/MUGI)
- 6 ounces club soda or carbonated water, chilled
- 3-4 Kinkan fruits (kumquats fruits), halved
- Fill a glass with ice then stir well with a cocktail spoon to chill the glass.
- Drain the excess water melted and add ice to fill the glass if needed.
- Gently, pour Japanese shochu and squeeze KINKAN fruit juice out and throw it into the glass.
- Top with club soda gently and stir once to combine.
If you are wondering which Japanese Shochu to get to make Japanese Izakaya sour at home, this post can help you to choose the best shochu.
Generally, in Japan, reasonable Korui Shochu is preferred to make the casual Izakaya drink at home.
Korui Shochu is not only reasonable but also has a clear taste that combines well with citrus juice.
However, when we live in countries outside Japan, it’s hard to get such reasonable Korui Shochu (so I use vodka instead).
Even Korui shochu is reasonable and clear taste, “authentic” Otsurui shochu more selected raw materials and deep flavor in it.