Calamansi is a delicious citrus fruit that’s often used in Filipino food. Many people wonder if it's a lime, lemon, or something else entirely. From the outside, this fruit appears to be a typical lime. One slice in, and you'll find an orange color inside.
This tasty citrus fruit is considered a Philippine lime and packs a big punch of flavor. If you're traveling around the Philippines, you may also hear it called calamondin. One mention of this fruit, and you know you’re in for a great meal!
What Is Calamansi?
As mentioned, calamansi is a type of citrus fruit in the Philippines. It’s a combination of kumquats and mandarin oranges, though it has a flavor somewhere between an orange, grapefruit, and lime/lemon.
This yummy fruit typically grows in a Mediterranean environment, and you'll commonly find it in the Philippines and the southern part of Asia.
What Does Calamansi Taste Like?
Calamansi is sweet, sour, and brightens up any dish you add it to, like most citrus fruits. If you’ve ever had an orange that wasn’t quite ripe yet, you’ll recognize the flavor of this fruit.
It also has a delightful fragrance when you use it in any recipe.
What Do You Use Calamansi For?
There are quite a few ways to use calamansi, with one of the most popular options being pancit, also known as pansit. This dish is quite broad and encompasses any Filipino dish that incorporates noodles. You can use various noodles, protein, and veggies to create pancit.
One popular variety is pancit canton, which uses wheat flour noodles. If you've ordered Chinese takeout before, you'll find this dish very similar to chow mein.
Another tasty dish that usually includes calamansi is lugaw,a savory Filipino porridge dish. It's also great as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings, and more. This dipping sauce typically consists of calamansi juice and soy sauce or oyster sauce/ fish sauce for a salty, slightly sweet, umami taste. This sauce is referred to as sawsawan.
The simplest recipe is calamansi juice. This drink is tangy, sweet, sour, and super refreshing.
Some of the other popular dishes that use calamansi include Filipino beef steak, chicken adobo, garlic fried rice, a deep-fried egg, and chocolate rice pudding with coconut milk.
Ways To Use Calamansi At Home
Tempted to include calamansi in your recipe repertoire? Here are a few ways that you can use this delicious fruit at home.
Datu Puti Toyomansi Soy Sauce with Calamansi
Datu Puti is one of the top brands of sauces in the Phillippines. You can use Datu Puti Toyomansi Soy Sauce with Calamansi as a dip for your favorite dumplings. It will offer a similar taste to a typical sawsawan. Except, you won’t need to juice the calamansi by hand!
Lucky Me Pancit Canton Instant Noodles: Chilimansi
These delicious Lucky Me Pancit Canton Instant Noodles: Chilimansi is tangy, spicy, and super addicting! They're flavored with calamansi and chili oil for the perfect flavor combination. It's a quick and easy way to enjoy a traditional Filipino dish after only spending a few minutes in the kitchen.
Excellent Pancit Canton Wheat Noodle
If you prefer to make a homemade pancit canton, you can use an Excellent Pancit Canton Wheat Noodle pack. You can add your favorite veggies and protein in while pan-frying. Don't forget to squeeze some calamansi on top to brighten the dish!
Excellent Pancit Bihon Rice Stick
Pancit bihon is another noodle dish in Filipino cuisine. It consists of thin vermicelli rice noodles, also called rice stick noodles. These noodles cook faster than canton noodles, which helps shave some time off your recipe. Try using a pack of these Excellent Pancit Bihon Rice Stick noodles when creating Filipino dishes. Squeeze some calamansi juice on and enjoy!
Here's a fun and non-traditional way to use calamansi! Grab a pack of these 7D Dried Philippines Mango pieces, pour them in a bowl, squeeze calamondin on top, and add a sprinkle of chili. It’s similar to Mexican chili, lime-covered fruit, but slightly sweeter. Give it a try!
Bokksu Market is an online Asian grocery store that offers delicious snacks, condiments, and sweets that you can purchase. Try new Asian grocery items, snack on new treats, and find tasty sauces on Bokksu! You can even order groceries online for an easy way to purchase your goodies.
By Krystina Quintana