March 12, 2013

Kuishinbo: Oba-chan’s Shochu Kumquats

by Yuki HD

When we were little we used to watch my oba-chan (grandmother) make this seasonal treat from Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. We were too little to enjoy it at first, but as we grew older the dish became more and more delicious.

Oba-chan’s preparation differed from the original recipe in that she substituted shochu for water. She did this to preserve the kinkan (kumquats), and the flavor was an unexpected gift.

1 lb. kumquats
1 cup sugar or to taste
1/4 cup shochu (my oba-chan used sweet potato shochu from her native Kagoshima)

1. Wash kumquat and remove stem.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot. Cover
3. Simmer on Low for 10 to 15 minutes.


*Yuki HD is a Tokyo native with deep roots in izakaya-style home cooking. She currently makes her home in the southwestern United States where the foods of many cultures meet and mingle. Kuishinbo means “rigorous eater” in Japanese. Eat up!


  • Deb
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    These look delish. I have a question, do you eat them warm after simmering or cold or both? Thanks! Will try very soon. My favorite Vietnamese restaurant serves a kumquat soda they muddle each on by hand. So good.

  • Kuishinbo
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Deb,
    Yes, you can eat them just after they’ve been cooked or chilled in the fridge.
    I love to drop a couple of them into my hot tea, and also in soda, just like your favorite!
    Hope you love it!

  • Posted March 31, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    My mum used to make candied kumquats from a little plant we had in our grandparents’ tiny garden in Japan. I loved them but have never had them cooked in shochu!

One Trackback

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