The mandarinquat is a hybrid of the mandarin and the kumquat. Mandarinquats and kumquats can be eaten whole, peel and all; the peel is sweet and the flesh is sour. They are delicious raw in salads such as shrimp, pork, and citrus salad with tamarind dressing and served as an accompaniment to cheese. Mandarinquats can be preserved into homemade jams and marmalades with or without the addition of other fruits such as cherries, passion fruit, or strawberries.
Shrimp, Pork, and Citrus Salad with Tamarind Dressing
(adapted from Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking by Su-Mei Yu)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1-2 tablespoons chile powder
- 3 mandarinquats or 5 kumquats
- 3 blood or navel oranges
- 8 ounces shrimp, cooked
- 8 ounces pork, cooked and sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 cup crispy shallots
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely ground
- 20-30 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
Prepare the salad dressing by combining the light brown sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low, add the tamarind paste, and stir to combine. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, add the chile powder, and stir again. Set aside to cool.
Cut the mandarinquats in half lengthwise and slice thinly into half circles. Place the mandarinquats in a small bowl. Segment the blood oranges by removing a ½ inch slice from the top and bottom. Set the blood oranges on a cutting board and carefully remove all of the peel and the pith. Working over the saucepan of dressing to catch the juice, use a small paring knife to slice along the membranes of each blood orange to separate the segments from the pith. Add the blood orange segments to the bowl of mandarinquats. Stir the dressing to incorporate the blood orange juice.
Combine the shrimp and pork in a large bowl. Add the tamarind dressing to the bowl with the shrimp and pork and mix well. Add the mandarinquats and blood oranges and mix again. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with shallots, peanuts, and mint.
- 1/2 cup shallots, sliced thinly into rings (5-7 shallots)
- 1 cup canola oil
- sea salt
Heat the canola oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until hot but not smoking. Separate the sliced shallots into individual rings and add to the pan. Cook the shallots for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown. If the canola oil becomes too hot during the cooking process and begins to spatter, lower the heat and sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. When the shallots are finished cooking, turn off the heat and remove them from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place on a few layers of paper towels to cool. The crispy shallots can be kept at room temperature for several weeks in a glass jar with a lid.