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Kumquat, Green Peppercorn and Garlic Paste

This flavorful paste can be used to marinate fish, poultry, pork or beef.

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  • Servings: MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP

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  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh kumquats (2 1/2 ounces), see Note
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained and coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a mini food processor, pulse the kumquats until finely chopped; do not puree. Transfer the kumquats to a small saucepan and add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, light brown sugar and honey. Cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the mixture reduces to a thick paste, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the paste to a bowl and let cool.
  2. In the processor, pulse the green and black peppercorns with the garlic and sea salt until the peppercorns are finely chopped. Do not puree the mixture. Add the scallions and cilantro to the processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Add the peppercorn mixture to the kumquat paste and stir in the olive oil until blended.

Make Ahead

The paste can be refrigerated in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days.


Sweet, tangy fresh kumquats are about an inch long and oval shaped. Their thin rind is edible, so you don't need to peel them before eating. (The rind is actually sweeter than the pulp.) Closely related to citrus, kumquats range in color from yellow to orange. Believed to be native to China, they are now cultivated in both California and Florida. Look for fresh kumquats in supermarkets from November through March. Frieda's, a mail-order source for specialty produce, has fresh kumquats until June (800-241-1771).

Contributed By Photo © Richard Jung Published February 2000

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