Fresh kumquats are in season in the cold months and I always make kinkan no kanro ni whenever I see this luscious orange fruit. In Japan kumquats in syrup are a New Year’s delicacy, but there’s no reason why they can’t be enjoyed as a garnish or dessert at any Western meal.
Remove any leaves from the kumquats, wash the fruit well, and pat it dry. Make 3–4 small, vertical, shallow slits in each kumquat, being careful not to cut completely through. The Japanese remove the seeds, since it is considered poor etiquette to leave them on your plate while eating. This is a time-consuming task with the heavily seeded American variety of the fruit, but if you wish to be authentic here is how to do it. Hold each kumquat between thumb and forefinger, and squeeze lightly so that the slits part to expose flesh and seeds. Insert a toothpick, and carefully poke and pick out seeds.
Put the kumquats in a saucepan with cold water to cover and add the saké. Bring this to a boil rapidly, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer for 10–15 minutes. Drain the soft, tender fruit.
In a saucepan combine the sugar and
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.