When I was approached by the good folks from Chitose Agriculture Initiative (CAI) for their Omakase Box collaboration, I was over the moon. Okay, as to the elation of my joy, I’m a huge fan of CAI’s produce ever since I was exposed to their strawberries at a tasting event last year.
A little background on Chitose Agriculture Initiative – other than working closely with artisan farmers globally, they also make collaborative efforts to achieve ethical and sustainable agriculture that will feed future generations.
Just as Japanese restaurants offer exquisite Omakase (which means “leave it to the Chef” and is a menu created to highlight the season’s best ingredients), CAI’s Omakase Box celebrates Japan’s seasons with the very best selection of fruits and vegetables that meets with the highest standards set by the JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard). You can now enjoy fresh and beautiful hand-picked fruits and vegetables air-flown directly from artisanal farms in Japan.
This coming two weeks, I’ll be featuring three recipes using the ingredients available in the Omakase Box. Today’s featured ingredient is these bright-looking bunch of Kumquats (Kinkan) from Ishikawa.
Although they look like miniature oranges, the flesh of kumquat is sour and tangy, yet the peel is sweet. How surprising, right? Do you know consuming the Hesperidin (skin) of the Kumquat decreases cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of allergy and cancer?
This Kumquat Citrus Tea is inspired by the popular Kumquat tea (金桔茶) widely available in Taiwan night markets. It is often served cold. You could find it on the menu in teahouses or cafes too. Traditionally, they are made with kumquats only but since I found some limes lying in my fridge, I included them into the preserve as well.
There are few ways you could enjoy this Kumquat Citrus Tea. You could either mix a couple tablespoons with some hot water, add a few spoons to your favorite green or red tea or serve it with some cold sparkling water.
24 kumquats – half, seeds removed
3 – 5 limes – sliced thinly, seeds removed
½ cup honey
¾ cup cane sugar
½ cup water
Makes 1 Jar
Place ingredients (except water) in a pan and cook over med low heat for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
When small bubbles start to form, add in water and continue to simmer until the mixture turns translucent and syrupy.
Allow to cool before storing in sterile jar.
To serve, prepare your favorite tea and add in 2 tbsp of kumquat mixture.
Stir well and enjoy.