Thursday, April 26, 2012

Preserved Kumquats - Drink To Relieve A Sore Throat

Whenever I have a sore throat I don’t see the doctor or take lozenges and cough drops but make myself a warm kumquat drink sweetened with honey.
Over the past 26 years living in Hong Kong I came to like preserved kumquats and they have become my best home remedy.

My homemade salted kumquats

Batch of preserved kumquats made on Feb 18, 2004

As you can see on the above photo both the salt and the kumquats have turned brown. For sure the fruit were more attractive when I put them in the jar but who cares when it is good for your health. If some foods need to be pretty others don’t have to!  The bright orange colour fruit has turned dark brown, shrunken and wrinkled.

Preserved kumquat is a very common natural medicine and it seems that almost every Hong Kong family has a jar at home. It is very easy to make and most of them are prepared by the older generation.

I remember the first time I made pickled kumquats as if it was yesterday. I still have 1 almost full jar of the precious fruit. I just checked the label on the red lid and realised that it was made 8 years ago.

Kumquat & honey drink

Salted kumquats


Ingredients:  
  • Kumquats
  • Coarse salt (enough to cover the quantity of kumquats you want to preserve)
  • Glass containers with lids

Steps:
  1. Wash clean glass containers, lids and fruit making sure they are free from any oil traces.
  2. Rinse the jars and lids with boiling water.
  3. Dry the fruit with paper towels.
  4. Put a layer of kumquats in jar. Cover with a layer of coarse salt. Repeat the process (put layers of salt over layers of kumquats) until your pot is filled.

Mashed kumquats
 
Whenever you have a sore throat, take 2 pieces of fruit out of the brine. Rinse them well with cold water, put them in a mug and mashed them with a spoon.
Fill the mug half full with boiling water.
Wait until the water has cooled down a bit (test the water with your finger) and stir in a large dollop of honey.
Enjoy both the juice and the mashed fruit!

Mashed kumquats in boiling water (left), and a tablespoon of honey (right)
 
Note: Do not pour boiling water over honey as it would kill the latter’s health benefits.

This drink is unique: it is salty and a tad sour and the addition of honey gives it a distinctive flavour.
I can certify that it is quite effective in relieving sore throats.

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