Kumquat Salsa

Have you ever tried a kumquat? They’re these little citrus fruits, like miniature oranges, not much bigger than a grape, that you can eat whole, even the seeds. You can slice them and add them to salads, or just pop them into your mouth for a quick snack.

My friend Garrett stopped by the other day with a container filled with kumquats (don’t you love friends who bring you food?) and a mission to make salsa. What follows is the citrus-y salsa we made with the kumquats, which I’ve been eating up with fish and in steak tacos.

You could easily add some chopped mango or avocado to the salsa, and chop it up more finely if you wanted to use it as a dip for tortilla chips. Looking for other things to make with kumquats? Check out the list at the end of the recipe with ideas from other food bloggers.

Kumquat Salsa Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups of salsa


  • 2 cups chopped cleaned and thinly sliced kumquats
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt


Combine all ingredients. Add more or less red pepper and cayenne to desired heat. Let sit for 1 hour for the flavors to more fully blend.

Great served with steak or seafood such as halibut, black sea bass, or salmon.

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Pan seared sea scallops with kumquats from Susan the Food Blogga

Kumquat, fennel, and blood orange salad from Erin's Kitchen

Preserved kumquats from Redacted Recipes

Kumquat and mango mojito by Live To Eat

Kumquat chutney from Rachael of Fresh Approach Cooking

What does eating a kumquat look like? by Lelo in Nopo

Cooking with Kumquats recipe round-up from Coffee and Vanilla

Kumquat Salsa


  1. nandita

    That’s a lovely lively looking salsa. I love fruits in salsa – mango, papaya, oranges for eg…Haven’t tried kumquat though, that’s probably because I haven’t found it here in Bombay!

  2. Ann

    Ooh… doesn’t that look wonderful! I think kumquats with fish is just a match made in heaven. Thanks for the link, btw!

  3. Liza

    Wow, this sounds like it would be delicious in a ceviche with some scallops.

  4. Michelle @ Us vs. Food

    I’ve never had a kumquat, although they grow in several of the parks where I bike.

    This salsa sounds refreshingly delicious, and the picture is perfect for a freezing February morning.

  5. rachael

    That sounds yummy! And thanks for the link!

  6. waisze

    I had it once last year I think, and I found it to be a bit bitter. This is one citrus I’m not a big fan of, but the salsa looks really tasty!

  7. Leisureguy

    I really like kumquats braised with chicken. Cut chicken into serving pieces, brown, put in a baking dish/pan with some liquid (I use white wine with a little orange and lemon juice, perhaps a little honey), sprinkle with halved kumquats, salt, and pepper, and braise in oven until done.

  8. Garrett

    I had some more of the salsa with some greek yogurt the other night. Perfectly delicious. I’m sure any cottage cheese fans out there would also love this little dish!

  9. Jessica

    Wow very colorful!

  10. jonathan

    Love them kumquats.

    When I was a boy – 7 or 8 years old, if memory serves me – my brother dared me to say the word “kumquats” 10 times fast at the dinner table for all the family to enjoy.

    Believe me when I say that following that episode, I’d come to realize I’d much rather have my mouth washed out with kumquats than with soap.

  11. Mansi

    I just saw these beautiful fruits in store yesterday! never knew they existed, and in one day I saw so many recipes with kumquats!:) they have an awesome color and taste:)

    lovely salsa Elise!

  12. Dani

    Elise – That photo is GORGEOUS! Wow. Wow. Wow!

  13. white on rice couple

    Wow this is a awesome photograph! It just pops! I’ve only used it in tea’s but this has got to be a refreshing alternative! Will try it when I get my hands on some more kumquats.

  14. Jaden

    Hey E!

    I’m experimenting with creating a dried kumquat salad dressing…love kumquats. They grow like crazy in FL weather. I’ve got a limequat tree in the back.

    xo, j

  15. Linda


    You could afford to quit your day job with your gorgeous photos. Have you thought about being a professional food photographer?

    I have always seen kumquats in the produce aisle and never knew how to prepare them. I make my own salsa and this is a new different recipe I will have to try. Thanks for sharing!

    Linda in Washington State

  16. Amanda

    We made this today with all the kumquats on tree! Never thought of putting them in salsa. So good!

  17. Joanna in the kitchen

    I have never tried kumquat before but you have convinced me to do that :-) I would also love to try this goodlooking salsa. It must be delicious :-)

  18. Cara

    We had some kumquats and limequats that we picked up at a local fruit stand. We put this in some homemade tacos with carne asada and corn torillas. It was out of this world, the fruit really gave it a nice citrus kick that was to die for.

  19. Susan from Food Blogga

    Thanks for the link, Elise. I’m addicted to those little fruits with the big taste! I even wrote an NPR Kitchen Window piece on them last month. One of our local farmers has been growing Meiwa kumquats which are rounder, plumper, juicier, and sweeter than Nagami kumquats. If you can get your hands on them, grab them and don’t let go! They’re amazing!

  20. Garrett

    I recently did this again for a potluck. Due to the fact I was in a rush I just tossed the kumquats into a food processor after cutting them in half and plucking out any easy-to-get-to seeds. Chopped up some cilantro, and some green onion instead of red. A more slammed together version that I think lends itself more to chips. The more pico de gallo large chunks version in the picture is definetly more effective in tacos and on fish.

  21. J. Davidson

    I just made connections with a person with acess to MANY varieties of citrus fruits. It is Christmas in my kitchen often. In looking for recipes for mixed citrus marmalades came across the kumquat salsa and candied and can hardly wait to try them. J

  22. george

    Making some jam out of this little guys.they are sooooo good.

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