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Cooking with Citrus: 5 Best Substitutes for Kumquat

Kumquats are the little giants of the citrus world – tiny, yet packed with a zesty punch.

Finding them can be a treasure hunt, though. You’re in the middle of prepping a dish, hands all zesty, and bam, you realize you’re out of kumquats.

We’ve all been there, right? No stress! We’ve got your back with the five best substitutes to keep your dish on track.

Think of these alternatives as your culinary lifeline—each brings its own unique twist, ensuring your recipe doesn’t skip a beat.

Going beyond the usual suspects, these swaps are about keeping things fresh, vibrant, and downright delicious.

Ready to turn a potential kitchen hiccup into a flavor fiesta? Let’s dig in.

what is kumquat

The 5 Best Substitutes for Kumquat

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for kumquat, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
CalamondinCalamondin is a small citrus fruit that resembles kumquat in size and flavor. It has a tangy, sour, and slightly sweet taste.Use an equal amount of calamondin as you would with kumquat in recipes.
ClementinesClementines are small, seedless citrus fruits with a sweet and tangy flavor. They can provide a similar citrusy taste to kumquats in recipes.Use an equal amount of clementines as you would with kumquats in recipes.
Diced OrangesDiced oranges can be used as a substitute for kumquats when their zesty and citrusy flavor is desired.Use an equal amount of diced oranges as you would with kumquats in recipes.
LimequatsLimequats are small citrus fruits that have a flavor profile combining lime and kumquat. They are tangy and slightly sweet.Use an equal amount of limequats as you would with kumquats in recipes.
TangerineTangerines are sweet and citrusy fruits that can be used as a substitute for kumquats, offering a similar flavor profile.Use an equal amount of tangerines as you would with kumquats in recipes.

Now, let’s discuss each substitute in more detail:

1 – Calamondin


Calamondin is an acidic fruit that tastes like a mix of kumquat and oranges.

This fruit has its origins in China and was brought to the Philippines in early 1846 by a Spanish Franciscan friar.

It was initially called ‘Calamondin’ because it crosses between lemon and kumquat.

It is mostly grown in Asian countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and India.

It should be noted that Calamondins are small fruit with thin skin that typically only runs around two centimeters long.

Each fruit has an oblong shape and can be about one to three centimeters wide.

Its outer skin has a dark green hue, and the pulp is typically orange.

The taste of this fruit can be compared to that of an acidic orange.

2 – Clementines


Clementine is a variety of Mandarin orange.

However, they are smaller, making them easier to eat out of hand.

They are often seedless, smooth textured, and have a sweet taste.

Clementines also resemble tangerines in terms of their color, but they are typically slightly larger than tangerines.

It is important to note that some clementines can be colored orange while others may be red or pinkish.

When ripe, clementine has thin and smooth skin.

Clementines are closely related to satsuma oranges, so they have a similar taste.

The best way to tell the difference between a clementine and a satsuma is by checking its stalk end or bottom.

If it’s moist, it’s a clementine, whereas if it’s dry, it’s a satsuma.

3 – Diced Oranges

diced oranges

When you’re looking at different recipes to use kumquat substitutes, diced oranges can be a great option.

This is because they have a slightly sweet taste, and many people love how juicy they are.

In addition, their size makes them ideal for use in salads since it doesn’t make a big difference if a few slices fall off.

Finally, it’s worth noting that oranges are not only delicious but also have an abundance of nutrients.

They can help boost your immune system and improve your mood simultaneously.

If you’re looking for a citrus replacement with a slightly sweeter taste, oranges are your best choice.

4 – Limequats


If you’re looking for a last-minute kumquat substitute, then limesquats are your best choice.

Limesquats look like tiny limes, and they have a tangy flavor to them.

It’s also worth noting that these little fruits don’t contain any seeds within them, so people who hate having seeds get stuck in their teeth can rejoice.

Limequats are native to East Asia, and they thrived in Japan and China.

This fruit contains thin skin and is typically light yellow or green.

They may be as small as kumquat, but the taste of limequat resembles that of tart lime.

It’s also worth mentioning that limequats have a significantly higher vitamin C content than oranges.

It contains five times as much vitamin C as limes and lemons.

It’s also pretty tasty when combined with fresh sugar cane juice or ginger ale.

5 – Tangerine


Tangerines are citrus fruit that falls into the same category as oranges.

They can be considered mandarin orange since they look similar to each other and their taste.

The best way to tell them apart is through their peels, but both types of fruits have thin and smooth skin.

Their taste is sweet and tart simultaneously, making them a great addition to salads.

When ripe, tangerines have thin and smooth skin.

Most of the time, people like to leave the peel on when they eat this fruit.

The best way to tell if tangerine is ripe is by checking its color; it will turn orange if the fruits are picked at the right time.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Kumquat

Searching for the ideal substitutes for kumquat in your recipes? Your quest ends here! Explore our carefully curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace kumquat, ensuring your dishes maintain a burst of citrusy goodness.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Calamondin
  • Clementines
  • Diced Oranges
  • Limequats
  • Tangerine


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for kumquat
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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