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Satsuma - The Japanese Mandarin

Satsuma - The Japanese Mandarin | ORYOK

The Satsuma is a citrus fruit originating from the southern regions of Japan. It is also known as Unshū Mikan there. Often, Satsuma is referred to as a mandarin or clementine, but this is incorrect as it is a completely distinct variety. Satsuma trees are much hardier and can withstand much lower temperatures compared to other citrus plants such as oranges, grapefruits, or bitter oranges. The fruit on these trees ripens relatively early and requires less sun than other varieties.

Where exactly does the Satsuma come from?

The exact origin of the Satsuma is challenging to determine with certainty. However, the earliest records of this fruit trace back to Japan, dating back to the 17th century. It shares its name with a province in the Kagoshima Prefecture, located in the southern part of the country. Genetic studies have indicated a relationship with Chinese mandarins (Citrus reticulata). It is possible that the initial plants of this citrus fruit were imported from China and later bred into the delicious Satsuma varieties known today. Originally, there was also uncertainty about whether the breeding of the Satsuma fruit was derived from the orange.

Satsuma peeled
Satsuma fruit

What does a satsuma taste like?

The fruit is sweet and mostly seedless. The peel is thin and easily separates from the flesh. The orange flesh is flavorful and wonderfully juicy. Since this taste is comparable to that of a tangerine or clementine, the fruit is often marketed as Satsuma mandarin. Externally, it is hard to distinguish from a tangerine. The key advantage is the seedless flesh. Occasionally, small, light green seeds may be present in the segments of Satsuma, but this is extremely rare.

Can the satsuma also be grown in our region?

While Satsuma is relatively resilient to low temperatures, it is unfortunately not frost-resistant. Those who wish to cultivate these plants in our latitudes must plant them in a pot like a lemon tree, tangerine, orange, or any other citrus fruit, and protect them from frost during the winter. This can be done with a greenhouse or a large winter garden. Not only are the delicious fruits of Satsuma or clementine a delight, but the delicate, white blossoms also have an irresistible fragrance and are a real visual treat.


Do all Satsuma come from Japan?

No, that has not been the case for a while now. While the fruit is still primarily grown in Japan, it can also be found on plantations in Spain, China, the Mediterranean countries, along the shores of the Black Sea, in South Africa, and in South America. Occasionally, they are offered in stores as mandarins or clementines, which can sometimes cause some confusion. Both mandarins and Satsumas have a relatively thin skin and are easy to peel. Clementines have thicker skin, making them a bit better for storage without drying out.

For which recipe are satsuma best suited?

The best way to enjoy this delicious fruit is by eating it raw. It tastes sweet and juicy, making it an ideal vitamin-rich snack. The main season for selling fresh produce is between October and December. However, this Japanese citrus fruit can also be used in many desserts and other dishes. Here are a few recipes:

Fruit tart with yogurt and satsuma

No. of persons4 personsNo. of persons
Preparation timeca. 15 minutes Preparation time
Total Timeca. 60 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultymiddleLevel of difficulty
Caloriesapprox. 350kcal per pieceCalories
Kitchenware Kitchenware
Springform pan , Mixing bowl , Knife , Cutting board
Satsuma cake

Delightfully cool and refreshing is a yogurt fruit tart that is super quick and easy to "bake." In this case, only the dry base is baked. For those with little time or who don't want to bake, you can also buy a ready-made sponge base and use it as the foundation for the tart.

Ingredients for the sponge base (for a round cake tin, approximately 28 cm in diameter):

List of ingredients for the cake base:
2 eggs
100 g sugar
100 g flour
2 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp baking powder
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

First separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites with half the sugar and a pinch of salt until they reach a firm consistency.

Step 2

Then beat the two egg yolks with the two tablespoons of hot water and the rest of the sugar until frothy. Mix the two mixtures together. Finally, carefully fold in the flour mixed with the baking powder.

Step 3

To prepare the delicious sauce for the recipe, mix the mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar and ginger juice together.

Step 4

Pour everything into a greased springform pan and bake for approx. 15-20 minutes at 180° C medium heat. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once the cake base has cooled, the yoghurt mixture can be prepared.

List of ingredients for the yogurt mixture:
1 kg natural yogurt
2 tbsp sugar
1 kg Satsuma
Gelier-Fix for 1 kg mass
Step 1

First, peel the fruit and cut into wedges, which are then cut into three or four pieces. Set aside some of the satsuma to decorate the cake later.

Step 2

Mix the chopped pieces and sugar with the yoghurt. Finally, fold in the Gelier-fix and stir briefly to create an even mixture. Pour this mixture into the springform pan over the cake base, smooth out and decorate with the reserved fruit slices.

Step 3

The tin is then placed in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The yoghurt fruit tart is then ready to cut and can be served.

Step 4

This recipe can easily be modified by using other fruits or quark instead of yogurt.

Japanese recipes view in the store »

Recipe for satsuma fruit salad

No. of persons2 personsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 20 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
Fruit salad with satsuma
List of ingredients
2 pieces Satsumas
2 pieces grapefruit
2 pieces apples
1 piece banana
other fruit varieties such as melon, pear, mango,...
toppings such as nuts, lemon juice, roasted sesame seeds, a pinch of sugar,...
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

To make the fruit salad, cut satsumas, oranges, grapefruit, apples, bananas, melon and possibly pears and mango into small pieces and mix together.

Step 2

Chopped avocado, lemon juice, chopped nuts, roasted sesame seeds and a pinch of sugar can also be used to refine the salad. Approximately 200-300 g of fruit per person (without peel and seeds). The proportion of individual varieties may vary depending on the season and availability.

Step 3

This delicious salad can either be eaten on its own or served with ice cream, a quark dish or yoghurt. Adding a few leaves of mint or basil gives it an interesting freshness kick. Enjoy your meal!

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Fine dressing with satsuma juice

List of ingredients
2 tbsp honey
120 ml satsuma juice (2-3 fruits are enough for this)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp oil
The grated peel of one or two satsuma
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly - the dressing is ready. It is ideal for fruit salad, iceberg lettuce, endive or lamb's lettuce. It can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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