Postcards from China: Kumquat Rice Cake


Welcome to Postcards from China, a series of delicious snapshots from my summer in China and Taiwan.

See More Postcards:
Happy Dragon Boat Festival + Zongzi

5 Best Things I Ate in Shanghai + Where To Find Them in NYC
Shanghai Xiaolongbao

Location: Xiamen
Item: Kumquat Rice Cake
Flavor: Kumquat-flavored mochi

In searching for desserts specific to Fujian, I came across these kumquat-flavored rice cakes. They’re very similar to mochi in terms of texture, but they have a distinct citrus taste. The ingredients: sugar, glutinous rice powder, and kumquat peel.

I’ve never had anything of the sort before, and truth be told, the kumquat taste came off as a bit odd. I want to say it’s an acquired taste.

The Chinese pronunciation is ju hong gao. In terms of texture, they’re reminiscent of the miniature mochi balls you can get at your local Pinkberry. The dessert is common in southern Fujian (where Xiamen is) and is traditionally eaten by brides there during their wedding day.

Kumquat rice cakes are probably not available in stores in the States — but if you find yourself craving the South-Asian citrus, here’s a recipe on how to make candied kumquats.

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