There’s no better snack than a mandarin orange, peeled and eaten right out of hand — especially this time of year, when the fruits are at their best and brightest. Mandarins are smaller and flatter than regular oranges, and they’re also the sweetest of the citrus fruits. Discover how to choose, prep and store them with these tips, then enjoy them in some of our favorite recipes.
Look for: Choose fruits that are deep in color, heavy for their size, and free of dull or soft spots. Although some will have loose skins, avoid those that look too bumpy — they may be overripe. The fruits will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Prep tips: Juice mandarins as you would other citrus: bring them to room temperature and cut them in half, then use a reamer or juicer attachment, and strain seeds and membranes before adding to recipes. Add citrus segments at the end of cooking and just heat them through to preserve their delicate texture. Here’s your toolkit:
- Wood Lemon Reamer for extracting juice
- Kai Citrus Knife for slicing and segmenting
- Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool to zest and strip peel
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer Citrus Juicer Attachment for juicing and straining juice
Uses: Mandarins are great for flavoring and garnishing desserts, such as ice cream, sorbets, custards and cream-filled cakes and pastries. They also shine in delicate sauces for fish, pork, chicken and duck.
Variations: Tangerines, most notably the red-orange Darcy from Florida, are the most recognizable class within the mandarin family. Others include the Satsuma, originally from Japan; the smooth, seedless Clementine widely grown in Algeria and Spain; and tangelos, such as the honey-flavored Minneola tangelo.
|Honey Tangerine Fizz
Sparkling-juice cocktails are the perfect solution when you need a festive drink for partygoers who don’t want to drink alcohol. This fizzy refresher can be sipped all day long.
Fresh mint gives this mocktail a fresh feel. For a fun presentation, save the tops from the clementines and use them as a garnish.
|Crostini with Ricotta Cheese and Tangerine Marmalade
While tangerines are at their peak, whip up a batch of marmalade. It makes a refreshing addition to this simple starter of crostini topped with ricotta cheese.
|Roasted Beef, Arugula and Tangerine Salad
Thinly sliced and served cold, roast beef makes a perfect topping for a salad. Our version is balanced with sweet tangerine segments, crisp red onion and peppery arugula.
|Braised Chicken with Tangerine and Star Anise
In this recipe, star anise imparts a spicy licorice flavor and aroma, with sweet hints of cinnamon and cloves. Tangerine zest and juice add a sweet-tart element, cutting through the richness of the chicken thighs.
This creamy curd has the bright, fresh flavor of sweet-tart tangerines, along with lemon juice for some extra zing. It’s delicious on cookies, in cakes, or simply spread on your breakfast toast.
|Toasted Pound Cake with Spiced Clementines
Warm spices and sweet clementines create the perfect combination for winter baking. This pound cake makes a beautiful dessert for a party — and leftovers are just as welcome on the breakfast table.
|Yogurt Panna Cotta with Orange-Pomegranate Compote
This lightened-up panna cotta uses yogurt instead of heavy cream. A sweet-tart orange and pomegranate compote tops it off perfectly.