Mứt Tắc – Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

Candied Kumquats (Mứt Tắc), are commonly made during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. These delicious treats lend their sweetness, bright happy color, and their flower shape to symbolize good luck and prosperity. 

Mứt Tắc , also known as Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

Parting from the New Year’s tradition, I decided to make this delightful candied kumquats recipe just a few weeks ago. The kumquat harvest in California was so bountiful this year, I put up 20 jars of kumquat jelly, and still had enough fruit to make the tiny morsels. Served with a hot cup of tea, kumquats are packed with a delicious sweet, citrus flavor, offering up a big dose of vitamin C in every bite.

The tart citrus flavor of kumquats also lends itself to more savory dishes, such as pork and duck, as well as their syrupy juice to flavor cocktails. Candied kumquats are delicious tossed into salads as a chewy, sweet bite. 

I’ve adapted the Mứt Tắc (Candied Kumquats) recipe from two sources, Spices of Life  and The Kitchn. Both recipes are time-consuming but The Kitchn uses fewer steps in their version. I’ve followed the pickling steps from Spices of Life, as I’m familiar with preserving with Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime, and it’s the more traditional method of preparation.

The result is well worth the effort, because candied kumquats are delicious! 

Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

Kumquat are native to South-Eastern China, but grown in many parts of the world. These varieties are most commonly grown for their fruit: Marumi kumquat, is known for its pleasant flavor and round. The Nagami kumquat (featured in this recipe) is more oval-shaped and the most common variety grown inside the United States. The Meiwa kumquat is round, and larger than the other varieties. Surprisingly, the skin is packed with sweetness, so eating the entire fruit is recommended. Mứt Tắc , also known as Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

Mứt Tắc (Candied Kumquats) 
Yields 8
Vietnamese Candied Kumquats
Write a review
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 9 cups kumquats
  2. 3 cups sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon pickling lime (Mrs. Wages)
  4. 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  5. 12 cups water
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large colander, rinse kumquats in cold water
  2. In another bowl combine 6 cups water with 1 tablespoon Mrs Wages Pickling Lime
  3. Place kumquats in a large pickle jug or bowl, pour pickling lime liquid over fruit and toss with a large spoon, cover and rest at room temperature for up to 4 hours or overnight
  4. Scoop whole fruit out from the pickling liquid into colander, and rinse in cold water
  5. Using a sharp pairing knife, slice 6-8 eyelets into the sides of kumquats making sure to leave the top and bottom of fruit intake.
  6. Remove as many seeds as possible by gently squeezing the cut fruit, a toothpick or sharp object is useful when trying to fish out the seeds however, don't' worry if you don't get all the seeds out, they will loosen up during the cooking process.
  7. Add salt to leftover pickling liquid, stir to combine
  8. Return cut fruit to the pickling liquid, add more water to cover fruit, cover with plastic wrap and rest overnight at room temperature
  1. Remove fruit from pickling liquid, and discard liquid, gently toss fruit under cold water and rinse for 3-5 minutes
  2. In a large stock pot combine sugar, bottled lemon juice and fruit, heat to medium high, stirring until sugar dissolves, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally
  3. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid is almost absorbed, takes 45 - 50 minutes.
  4. Remove individual fruit to a parchment lined cookie sheet, press the tops of the fruit with your finger until they resemble a flower shape, allow them to rest and air dry for up to 24 hours
  5. Keep fruit in canning jars or covered container for up to 3 months in the refrigerator
  1. Syrup can be pour over fruit and stored in jars to create a softer version.
Adapted from The Spices of Life
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/


Kumquats in pickling lime

Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

Mứt Tắc , also known as Vietnamese Candied Kumquats

You might also like:

Cots and Quats

COTS n QUATS Marmalade with Madagascar Vanilla Bean and Morbier Cheese (Apricot and Kumquat Jam)




COTS n QUATS Marmalade with Madagascar Vanilla Bean & Morbier Cheese

Cots and Quats Jelly
The bright orange skin of the kumquat is so inviting but with one taste your mouth will twist up into a pucker.  The tart pucker can be eased by adding sugar allowing the complex citrus flavor the perfect vehicle for consumption. In contrast, the soft almost furry skin of the apricot beacons me for a bite, revealing it’s sweet tart flavor and juicy flesh. Apricots are filled with natural pectin and are perfect fruit for preserving.These two distinct flavors sounded like a perfect pairing for a marmalade and since I’m in “canning mode” that’s exactly what I decided to make.  I also wanted to add an element of surprise to my recipe so I incorporated the rich flavor of Madagascar Vanilla Bean and a touch of almond extract.   Filled with inspiration from these fresh ingredients I rendered one of the most flavorful marmalade’s in my canning history!  A mouthful of nectar fit for a king! 




2 cups kumquat sliced skin on, seeds removed
6 pounds fresh apricots (10 cups) cut into quarters, pits removed
4 cups sugar
1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean
1 teaspoon almond extract


In a large stock pot combine kumquat, apricots,  whole vanilla bean and sugar, stir to combine, cover and cook on medium heat until kumquat release their liquid about 15 minutes, remove lid and bring to a boil.  Skim foam from top of hot mixture, remove vanilla bean and split with a sharp knife, remove seeds by scraping a sharp knife inside seed pod, add all seeds to mixture and return seed pod to hot mixture; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add almond extract and stir mixture vigorously with a metal spoon to break apart apricots, mixture will thicken naturally, do not add pectin.

Ladle hot mixture into prepared jars and cover with clean lids and rims.  Return sealed jars to a hot water bath and boil for 15 minutes, remove jars to a clean dry towel, rest jars until seals form, this can take 15 minutes to 24 hours (see instructions for jar preparation and how to create a proper seal)

Apricot and Kumquat Jelly

The tart sweet flavor of this marmalade makes for a fabulous light picnic paired with Morbier cheese and crackers. French Morbier is from the eponymous town in the Jura Mountains, this raw cow’s milk cheese is traditionally made from two milkings, an evening and a morning, separated by a layer of vegetable ash. Legend has it that Comté cheese-makers with extra curds at the end of each day sprinkled them with soot to protect their bounty from flies until they could add milk the following morning to complete a smaller wheel of cheese for personal consumption. Thus, Semi-Soft, pressed and uncooked cheese with pronounced aroma and hearty flavor, which is Morbier. Today the layer is one of vegetable ash, usually decorative, and the paste remains supple and sweet.(source, shopwiki.com)

A fine bottle of Proseco and sweet ice coffee accompanied my picnic.