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Monday, December 3, 2012

Swai Fillets with Kumquat Butter

Between living in Phoenix and now Florida, we have been most fortunate to be on the receiving end of many baskets of fresh citrus fruits.  Residents of the southern sunbelt always have an overabundance of lemons and limes at home and they are more than happy to share their harvest with their coworkers.

That was the case this week when my sous chef came home from work with something new, a bag of kumquats.  (Kumquats?  What do you do with those?) These cute little fruits look like small oranges, and when I scratched the rind they even smelled like oranges. But how do you peel such a tiny thing?  Well, you learn something new every day!  When my husband asked the same question of his coworker, he was told to eat the entire thing, rind and all, which seemed a bit weird.  So we did what most skeptical parents would do, we let our oldest daughter try one!  Turns out she loved these juicy little fruits and so did we.  The rind was sweet while the center was juicy and tart.  A very interesting flavor that I could not wait to experiment with.

I had been wanting to make a citrus-based Swai dish and this recipe was the perfect solution.  Quickly searing the fish is a great way to highlight the natural flavor of the fish, while combining the bright flavor of the kumquats.  Be sure to serve a few sliced or whole kumquats on the side.  This fish is delicious served with a light rice pilaf and a simple veggie.  Enjoy!!

Kumquat Butter
3 TB  Butter, softened
6  Kumquats with seeds removed
1 tsp  Lemon Zest
1 tsp  Orange Zest
1 tsp  Minced Fresh Ginger
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper

After you have removed the seeds from the kumquats, (you can use a small knife to do this), finely mince the kumquats, including the rinds.  Combine the kumquats with the butter, lemon and orange zest, ginger, salt and pepper, and set aside while you prepare the fish.

5  Swai Fillets (about 2 lbs)
2 tsp  Butter
2 tsp  Olive Oil

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Rub the fish fillets generously on both sides with the citrus butter, then place the fish in the hot skillet.  Cook fillets for 4 - 5 minutes then carefully turn the fillets over and cook 4 minutes longer, or until fish is opaque in the center and slightly browned.  Serve immediately.


  1. got some this week to see what they were like. was glad to see this page and cant wait to try it soon but will thy it as a butter for the turkey for christmas so wish me look, and a happy christmas to you all and a very merry new year.

  2. Wow, kumquats were a new creature to me, but I really liked cooking with them. The butter would be delicious with turkey. Let me know how it turns out. Merry Christmas to you also!


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