Are you feeling adventurous, like the taste of citrus, and want to try something new? Then I have the perfect fruit for you. The Malayan kumquat is a small hardy fruit that will leave your tastebuds dancing.
Due to its ability to self-pollination and self-fertilization, the kumquat’s grown in popularity in residential gardens. They’re also esthetically pleasing, with their yellow flowers that release a heavenly scent.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to the ins and outs of the Malayan kumquat and how to integrate it into your backyard garden and meals.
Characteristics of the Malayan Kumquat
The Malayan kumquat is a member of the citrus family. It’s known for its vivid orange color, much like you would expect of another well-known citrus fruit, the orange.
What makes this kumquat not only intriguing but also unique is its size. No bigger than a grape or olive, it might be hard to believe the impact that this small citrus fruit will have on your tastebuds.
With a rind you can eat, you won’t have to worry about pealing it like you’d have to do with other citrus fruits. In fact, the rind is known for adding to the flavor, allowing the Malayan kumquat to start off, giving a sweet taste and ending with a tart and tangy bite once you get to the pulp.
Eating the Malayan Kumquat
The Malayan kumquat is nature’s version of “Gushers.” When you first place these olive-sized fruits in your mouth, it’ll feel a little hard, but once you break through that “capsule,” you’ll get a burst of juicy flavor.
Suppose you’re looking for other ways to add the Malayan kumquat to your cooking repertoire, and you’re craving something sweet. In that case, this citrus fruit goes well with chocolate, vanilla, mint, and other fruits.
Looking to experiment with a new cake recipe? This Easy Kumquat cake will be perfect for you. With only a few simple ingredients, this cake is sure to be a hit with the entire family.
Want a sweet treat that can cool you down during the hot months? Try this Kumquat Ginger Sorbet. With only 280 calories per serving, you can enjoy it while still feeling good about what you’re putting in your body.
If you’re looking to preserve your Malayan kumquats a little longer, you can use them to make marmalade like this recipe for Kumquat Vanilla Marmalade, or maybe jam is more your style, then try out this Kumquat Jam recipe.
Looking for Something Savory?
Don’t worry; Malayan kumquats can also be used in savory dishes. They pair well with duck, pork, chicken, fish, greens, and grains.
Want something quick and easy? This One-Pot Roasted Turkey With Kumquats and Wild Rice is a perfect meal after a long day.
Maybe fish is more your style; if so, not a problem. This Rockfish with Honey Poached Kumquats, Fennel, and Olives is sure to win over even the pickiest of eaters.
Snacks For the Whole Family
We all know at least one person who has a sweet tooth, or when they’re working, likes to have hard candy or gum to chew/ suck on. And I bet you didn’t know you can turn these Malayan kumquats into Candied Kumquats, so you can still enjoy the candy effect without extra preservatives.
Does anyone in your family love honey or maple syrup? If so, and you’re feeling adventurous, then this Kumquat Syrup is perfect for you. You can use it as a glaze for your baked goods or add it to your tea and other beverages to add that sweet, tangy taste.
When it comes to the Malayan kumquats, the world is your oyster; there are hundreds of recipes for both food and beverages that you can easily find online.
Health Benefits of the Malayan Kumquat
For such a small fruit, these kumquats pack a major nutritional punch. Like most citrus fruits, it’s full of vitamin C, which is essential for the body because it helps with tissue repair, collagen formation, and the production of certain neurotransmitters.
Kumquats also contain iron, B vitamins, manganese, copper, and calcium, and that’s if you only eat the peel.
The seeds of the Malayan Kumquat are 100% edible, just like the rind. The seeds contain Omega 3 fatty acids and are high in water content, making them a perfect snack for before or after your workout. Your body will break these down quickly, giving you a burst of energy and hydration.
They’re also full of fiber and antioxidants, which are both necessary for healthy cells. Plus, they’re cholesterol-free and low in fat.
Growing the Malayan Kumquat
When deciding whether or not you want to add a Malayan kumquat plant to your backyard garden, it’s important to note that they do best in high humidity. However, they are hardy plants that can survive in temperatures as low as 18 degrees; they just won’t be as esthetically pleasing.
Characteristics of the Malayan Kumquat Plant
The Malayan kumquat plant is self-pollinating, meaning they don’t need insects to “fruit” and their self-fertilizing, so you’ll only need space to grow one tree.
What makes these trees so alluring is their scent. Kumquats are flowering fruits, meaning that before the fruit itself sprouts, the tree will be full of little flowers that give off a lemony pine scent that will have your mouth water.
Size and Spacing
When fully mature, the Malayan kumquat tree will be anywhere from 3 to 5 meters tall. They can also be turned into a hedge; you’ll just need to find an area in your backyard that can sustain its size.
Your kumquat tree will need to be placed in an area where it can get direct sunlight for 8 hours a day.
Kumquat trees will grow best in acidic to neutral soil pH. What’s really important is that the soil is loamy, moist, and well-draining.
Pests and Diseases
Like all plants, your kumquat tree is susceptible to certain pests and diseases, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for common pests such as aphids, thrips, spider mites, and mealybugs.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for diseases such as scab, fruit rot, and stem-end rot.
Kumquat trees do not need to be pruned; however, if you want to shape them, you are more than welcome to do so. It’s best to do this process after you’ve already harvested.
Where Can You Buy Malayan Kumquats
Finding and purchasing Malayan kumquat seeds can be somewhat difficult; most nurseries sell this variety potted.
Some independent sellers may have them, so I recommend checking out local nurseries and online.
Depending on your location, you can also find them at local nurseries.
If you have a friend who currently has a Malayan kumquat tree, you can also use a clipping from theirs to start the process in your own garden.
Kumquats are harvested once a year, meaning if you’re lucky enough to find them at your local farmers market or store, get them while you can because if not, you’ll probably have to wait for the next harvest.
Wrapping up the Malayan Kumquat
Here at Minneopa Orchards, we understand the desire to add new and exciting fruits to your diet. Whether you have a picky eater in your family or you’re tired of eating the same recipes, sometimes you just need something different.
Although small in size, the Malayan kumquat is mighty in flavor, making it the perfect addition to liven up your tastebuds.
Excited for more kumquat content? Check out our kumquat trees page to learn more about this funky little citrus!