Aomikan is a green tangerine that are available in Japan from around the end of August though September. There are simply tangerines that have been harvested a few weeks early. They are tart and tangy. I love peeling them, surprisingly the green peel gives way to juicy orange fruit. Aomikan are one of my two favorite citrus for eating and this year I made marmalade with them!
Aomikan (Green Tangerine) Marmalade 青みかんマーマレード
The Taste of Green Tangerines
Aomikan, or ‘green tangerine’ mark the beginning of autumn. They are more sour than sweet and make a wonderfully refreshing snack in the still hot late afternoons and early evenings of this season.
The early autumn aomikan has a delightful, berry-like ‘tingle on the tongue’ tartness to it, similar to the sensation of a perfectly fresh strawberry.
In this season though, mikan are not quite ripe, but that makes them all the more tasty! Aomikan is one of Peko’s favorite fruit of all time. Aomikan only stay ‘ao’, green naturally for a short time, so this is the time to enjoy them!
source: KyotoFoodie End of Summer Aomikan article
Aomikan – Green Tangerines
Aren’t these absolutely gorgeous?
I love aomikan! Last year I tried to make aomikanshu liqueur (like umeshu, yuzushu, karinshu), but it didn’t turn out very well. I think that I didn’t add enough sugar and I bought cheap aomikan that weren’t very juicy. Since early this year I have made a lot of marmalade with Japanese citrus, like this yuzu marmalade, and had been looking forward to aomikan season so that I could make some aomikan marmalade.
Ready to Simmer – Aomikan and Sugar in the Pot
How I Made It
I followed this quick and simple recipe by a Japanese foodie blogger that called for the entire mikan tangerine being used, as is. I was a little disappointed with the result. The marmalade looks pleasantly creamy, but that is the pith, I think. The pith really needs to be removed and the peel needs to be boiled at least once to remove the bitterness. I don’t think that there is a quick and easy way to make excellent marmalade.
I used 10 large, beautiful, juicy aomikan.
Tangerine Marmalade Recipe
- 5 aomikan (substitute ripe mikan tangerine)
- 100 g sugar
- 500 ml water
Scrub tangerines with brush and slice thinly as seen in photos. Simmer sliced tangerines in water for 1 hour and then add sugar and simmer for another 1 hour.
How I Would Make it Next Time
Start with 20 aomikan or ripe tangerines.
Wash the whole aomikan with a scrub brush. Miwa found information in the internet saying to wipe the peel with a towel soaked in shochu (substitute vodka or similar alcohol) to remove wax and (some) chemicals.
Peel aomikan and scrap the inside of the peel with a knife or spoon to remove the pith (see this yuzushu article for photos).
Hand-chop or mix tangerine flesh in blender and squeeze through course woven cloth. You want to separate the juice from the pith and fiber.
Select about half the aomikan peel and boil for 5 minutes and strain. Repeat this process 1 to 3 times, with new boiling water each time. (Thick peel citrus requires a good deal of boiling, aomikan peel is quite thin and delicate so I think that once ought to be sufficient to take the bitter edge off.) You can make candied peel with the remaining peel.
Mix juice, sugar and peel with 500 ml to 1 l of water and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
Normally, I wouldn’t use white processed sugar, but I wanted to try to bring out the freshness and tartness of the aomikan without complicating the taste with brown or black sugar. Wasanbon sugar, though expensive, could be incredible combination with properly prepared aomikan.
Aomikan Marmalade Served
I am enjoying this marmalade on my bread in the morning and have done a taste test with other marmalade that I made this year and this really is quite bitter. Too bad. Once again, the easy way turned out not to be the best way. By the way, there is no ‘quick and easy’ way in Kyoto cuisine.
Fruit Store in Shopping Arcade
This is the shop where I bought the aomikan. They have some cheap ones out front, but I went in and dug around and found some big, juicy aomikans. They were well worth the extra few hundred yen that they cost. This little old guy that works at the fruit shop is so old that he can’t stand-up straight! I bet he knows everything there is to know about fruit by now.
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