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Calamondin Recipes - the sour orange in cooking

Updated on February 2, 2015

Cooking with Calamondins

Well known in the Philippines and US, Calamondins are now becoming available in Europe. Here are a selection of recipes for people who have spotted the little sour orange fruit in garden centres, but have been unsure what they were, or what they can do with them.

This lens offers some recipes and resources for people trying to cook their calamondins - or deal with an excess of fruit!

Kumquats v. Calamondins

Calamondins are not kumquats - kumquats have a different internal structure (only 4 segments) and thicker peel, while Calamondins are more like miniature oranges, and have seeds internally.

Eating Calamondins whole - Raw Calamondins - the sour orange

Calamondins can be eaten raw. Despite their resemblance to oranges, they taste completely different - the peel is sweet, but the fruit is sour. It is often suggested that you should eat them whole, spitting out the seeds.

As a variation, they can be frozen whole and used in drinks, desserts and cocktails as an edible garnish.

Be warned - as sillysocks video shows, if you aren't ready for the taste it can surprise you!

Candied Citrus slices or segments are a common recipe. However you can also "candy" slices of Calamondin, despite their smaller size. These slices can be eaten as snacks, or used as garnish.


  • 1 cup Calamondins (approx.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 quarter pint water


  1. Prepare the fruit.
  2. 1) Clean the Calamondins. You do not need to remove the peel, but scrub it throughly. For this recipe it is easier to use larger fruit.
  3. 2) Slice the fruit horrizontally, giving you a star shaped cross section. Go for slices about a quarter inch thick. Discard the top and bottom of the fruit.
  4. 3) Remove the seeds. Due to the number and size, this can leave the fruit looking rather holey.
  5. Make the syrup.
  6. 4) Mix the sugar and water in a warm saucepan.
  7. 5) Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  8. Make the slices
  9. 6) Place the slices in the syrup and simmer gently until cooked (usually 20-40 minutes)
  10. 7) Once it is ready (the segments will look translucent) remove from pan wih a spatula and leave them to cool on racks. Warning: These will be very hot!
  11. Notes:To make more syrup simply keep a ratio of 2:1 sugar/water.Remember melted sugar is very hot, so take care.
Cast your vote for Candied Calamondin Slices


High in Vitamin C, with Iron, Vitamin A and more, the Calamondin is good for heath:

Calamondin Nutritional Details

More Calamondin recipes. - More ways to use the sour orange

As a flexible fruit, already extremely popular in the Philippines, there are a lot of recipes for Calamondins. Here are a few links if you are looking for ideas about what to do with yours.

Ripe and unripe Calamondin

Ripe and unripe Calamondin
Ripe and unripe Calamondin

Citrus Subsitutions - Calamondins in other Citrus recipes.

As a citrus fruit, Calamondins can be used in almost any citrus recipe. If you want to use them as a substitute, remember first that they are tart not sweet, and second that as they are much smaller you will need a greater quanitity of them. If the recipe requests juice of one lemon, you may need two or three calamondins to make up the amount.

  1. Lemon Merangue Pie.
  2. Lemonade - that's right, you can make a drink out of Calamondins.
  3. Lemon Sorbet
  4. Lemon Cake

Juice with Soy Sauce - A flavour enhancer

Calamondin juice can be used to enhance the flavour of Soy Sauce.

  1. Squeeze the Calamondins
  2. Add the juice to the soy to taste.
The resulting mix is often used with chicken or fish.

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    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      Ramona 4 years ago from Arkansas

      I've never heard of this fruit. If it knocks you off your feet like it did the young lady in the video, I think I'm a little scared to even try it. LOL.....Lovely lens, great job.

    • profile image

      liamsquidoo 4 years ago

      Great job on the lens. Can't wait to try it out myself!

    • profile image

      liamsquidoo 4 years ago

      Great job on the lens. Can't wait to try it out myself!

    • profile image

      Plants4Presents 4 years ago

      I love cooking with these little babies, it's well worth experimenting with them when they are green and when they are orange - they taste quite different.

      I believe in the philippines they are traditionally used green as limes but they also work in marmalades and preserves once they have ripened. They are one of the easiest citrus trees to grow, we sell several hundred a year via and I'm often asked what you should do with the fruit. It's great to see so many ideas on here...

      Here are a couple of my favourite calamondin recipes to add to the list

      Calamondin Souffle (serves 4)

      This a great summer recipe and can be served with cream or ice cream in one big bowl or individual dishes.


      4 eggs

      3 tablespoons golden castor sugar

      Zest of 10 of the largest calamondins

      Approx 350ml of calamondins juice

      1 gelatine sachet

      500ml double cream

      1. First of all grate the zest from the largest fruits, this is a bit fiddly but the zest adds to the end flavour. Use a very fine grater and aim to take off just the orange part of the peel.

      2. Juice the calamondins. Because they are a bit small they are best sliced in half and squeezed by hand into a pyrex measuring jug (pips will be sieved out later). Add half the zest to this mixture and put half aside for later.

      3. Heat a large saucepan of water (NB you will be mixing the eggs in a bowl over this saucepan so choose a suitable pan and bowl at this point)

      4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl (if you choose a nice heatproof serving bowl this can be the eventually serving dish) first then place over the warmed pan of water and continue to whisk. When the egg mixture gets warm and starts to thicken take it off heat the heat and carry on whisking. The trick is not to overheat the mixture or it will become custard but a little bit of heat allows the mixture to thicken nicely.

      5. Now stand the pyrex jug that has the juice and zest in the warming pan, add the gelatine and mix well. By warming over a pan and mixing thoroughly you should ensure that the gelatine dissolves properly. Once there are no more visible lumps, sieve the juice mixture to remove any smaller lumps and pips into the bowl with the eggs. Add the rest of the zest you saved from earlier.

      6. Wash your whisk thoroughly and whip the cream in a separate bowl until stiff but not curdled and fold the cream into the egg mixture with a spoon.

      7. Now wash your whisk again and this time whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and then again fold into the mixture with a spoon.

      8. There is no need to stir too vigorously but once all the ingredients are combined wipe round the top of the bowl or spoon into individual dishes if required and place in the Fridge for 3-4 hours until it sets completely.

      9. Serve with cream or ice cream.

      Calamondin Marmalade (makes approx 3 jars)


      2 cups of calamondin fruits

      6 cups of water

      4 cups of sugar


      1. Slice the calamondins fruits as finely as you can or into quarters for the very small fruits and fish out as many of the pips as possible.

      2. Add the chopped fruit and water to a large heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil. You need to then let this pulp bubble away and reduce by about a third so that it makes a thick porridgey texture. Stir occasionally whilst this is happening and keep picking out the pips as they rise to the surface.

      3. Once the pulp has reduced right down you should have about 4 cups of pulp left. Add to this the 4 cups of sugar or balance the recipe at this point so you have equal amounts of sugar to pulp and bring the mixture back up to the boil.

      4. Boiling sugar is very hot so watch the pan at all times and keep an eye on children!

      5. Your aim is to bring the temperature of the liquid up to a soft boil stage (105C) so that it sets. You can do this with a thermometer but the old fashioned method works equally well. Chill a saucer in a freezer and once the sugar has melted and the mixture has turned a rich golden texture, dribble a small amount on the saucer. If it forms a skin that wrinkles when tilted itâs ready, if it stays runny it needs a little more time but you can keep repeating this procedure until youâve got the mixture hot enough to set.

      6. Next carefully pour the mixture into sterilized jam jars, wait for them to cool completely before fitting the lids.

      7. Label your jars and include a date but you can expect marmalade to keep well for at least a year.

      TOP TIP: For larger quantities you can save time by using a blender. Using a 1.25 litre blender, fill the jug to the top with fruits and 500ml of water and blend on a low speed. Pick out any pips at this point, pop in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. You will still need to reduce the pulp down but it is a bit quicker with this method and once the mixture has reached the consistency of porridge you can skip to point 3 and add the sugar allowing equal amounts of sugar to pulp.

      Calamondin marmalade is great on toast, crumpets and muffins for breakfast but also try it as a filling in chocolate cakes and Victoria sponges ï

    • profile image

      CuriousBoy 4 years ago

      Never heard before... Now just wanna try!

    • PapaKork profile image

      PapaKork 4 years ago

      Wow! We used to love these tiny sour "oranges" when I lived in Florida as a child. I didn't know what they were called back then, so thanks for that information! These were actually my favorite. We had grapefruits, tangerines, oranges, but these were what all the kids went after. I guess it was the sourness, which was actually not as bad as some think. I really miss these!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Here in California some people call this sour sour orange a Mexican orange. Mexicans like to juice it and candy the orange too.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      Interesting. Thanks for the lens.

    • Julia1000 profile image

      Julia1000 5 years ago

      wow, my neighbours told me I could do nothing with these oranges they said they are only good for their seeds.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      Would love to try one

    • Marcel W profile image

      Marcel White 5 years ago

      Calamondins? Is this a kind of natural dynamite? I saw the video and decided to add Calamondins to my list of things not to try. Thanks for letting me know about this.

      Marcel White

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Very informative and interesting - never heard of this fruit before.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I will look for these at our International market. I think I've seen them, but didn't know what they were and I like sour. Thanks

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      I hadn't heard of these. I'd like to try them.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      This fruit looks very tempting. Thanks for info and recipes!

    • Surreymagic profile image

      Surreymagic 5 years ago

      I'm very pleased to find your lens! I have ordered seeds to grow this as an indoor plant and now I have a wonderful source of recipes!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Well done lens! I learned a lot!

    • profile image

      RecipePublishing 6 years ago

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome lens about these fruits. I'm ashamed to say I never heard of them.Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 3/16/2011. Have a great day!