kumquats to my rescue


Su-Mei Yu heard I wasn’t feeling well, so she rushed me a jar of her kumquat preserves. Her directions were simple — make a tea by pouring hot water over a couple tablespoons of the preserves… drink the tea and eat the fruit. I’m not really a fan of kumquats, but I trust Su-Mei. By the way, if you live anywhere near San Diego, I hope you’ve already visited her amazing restaurant Saffron. Thai noodles don’t get any better. Back to Su-Mei. We first met back around 1999 when we worked together on a book called Cracking the Coconut. I guess it’s something of a classic now, and sadly it’s not easy to find, but if you’re interested in learning Thai cuisine, this is the book you need.

I’m working with Su-Mei on another book now, The Elements of Life, but it’s not due out until the Fall so you have to be patient. So what about the tea? It’s strong stuff. It calmed my chest within moments. Su-Mei said to keep drinking it throughout the day, and I’m only on my first cup, but this stuff really works. The only thing I can compare it to is making tea from fresh ginger, which is also very therapeutic and healing. But the kumquat preserves are doing something else. I feel soothed. And if you like kumquats, then all the better. I wonder if Su-Mei will give us the recipe?


21 thoughts on “kumquats to my rescue

  1. I’m glad it’s helping you feel better and yes I hope she does share the recipe. I love remedies like this, it’s a heck of alot better than medicine from the doctor!!

  2. oh justin – how nice of su-mei.and oh my gosh – i’m SO glad i read this post! i live in san diego! but i’ve never been to saffron. i didn’t even know there was such a restaurant. i’ll definitely be dropping by.and my parents like kumquats. they have it dried, salted, fresh, jellied, etc. it’s taken up a huge chunk of space in the pantry! i’m glad you’re feeling better πŸ™‚

  3. I can’t believe you’re still sick!! I hope that kumquat tea helps. My sister lives in San Diego; the next time I go, I will definitely have to try Saffron — the menu on the website looks fantastic!

  4. girlichef: thanks for posting. yeah, kumquats aren’t so easy to findchristina: the tea really worked. i was super sick, but it’s the next morning now, and I’m so much better. report back if you do visit saffron. it’s not a fancy place or anything, but it’s really good.

  5. I see kumquats all the time at specialty markets and I never knew what to do with them. Who knew they were as healing as chicken soup? And what a great friend you have there. Good luck with the upcoming book.

  6. Thanks for commenting; I wish I were as ambitious about schoolwork as I am about my baking adventures. :PI tried kumquats once and I am too sissy to ever eat one ever again–SO TART!!P.S. You’re the author of the Marshmallow Fluff Cookbook?! You, sir, are a brilliant man! I've seen it on the PB&Co. website and have been lusting over it (and everything else they offer) ever since. Oh, fluffernutter sandwich, I love you so.

  7. korea has something like that too, called citron tea. you can also add honey or something. I personally don’t really care for it, but apparently it is pretty good for your health. you’re lucky to have such a sweet friend like su-mei!

  8. These preserves, a scone and some tea – what else could someone ask for. You’ve got cool friends. (Thanks for stopping by my site and I hope yo’re feeling better in time for this wonderful weather)

  9. Please prevail on Su-Mei for the recipe; kumquat preserves sound wonderful on their own but as an ailment cure, it’s even more appealing!I looked up her book “Cracking the Coconut” and it’s available at the library – I think I’ll pick it up and have a look. I would love to cook Thai food at home but as with Indian food, I’m somewhat intimidated by the complexity of the herbs and spices combos that are necessary to achieve the flavors. Or maybe I’m just psyching myself out unnecessarily!Hope you’ll feel even better soon.

  10. Jen: wow, thanks. I did a lot less to write the fluff book than you’d think. Just wrote the history, compiled and edited the archived recipes, and then asked a bunch of cool chefs to develop new recipes. It was a fun project and all, but it’s not like I developed those recipes myself. The recipe testing was fun though.burpandslurp: i’ve tried citron tea (not sure if it was the korean variety) and didn’t much care for it either. anyway, thanks for commenting!Eliana: scones, yeah, that sounds good to me. I’m feeling better just in time for the weather too. thanks for commenting.Tangled Noodle: I got the recipe and will post it shortly. Let me know what you think of Cracking the Coconut. It’s a serious book, but there is no better teacher than Su-Mei Yu. And thanks for commenting.

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