Last Updated on January 24, 2023
Here in Japan, mikans are in season in the fall. My kid just returned from a mikan-picking field trip with his school, and he came home with many. (Lucky kid). He was so proud of himself, but I started to wonder what I was going to do with all those mikans. Luckily, I knew how to make orange marmalade and thought that using mikans would be perfect. All you need are 4 items, and no purchase of pectin is required.
Continue reading about how you can make this at home!
Mikan Marmalade: FAQ
What is a mikan?
Mikans are very similar to mandarin oranges. The fruit is very easily peeled, an easy snack for kids and grownups to enjoy! When I go grocery shopping in Japan, I can easily find a little red plastic bag filled with mikans. They are the perfect add to the school bento boxes (aka: school lunch box).
When is the mikan season in Japan?
Mikans are picked from October to November. Some orchards have posted that their picking season is from October 20th-November 30th. This is a great activity for the little kids based on the fruit size. Lots of school groups will take a field trip in the fall to the nearby mikan orchards.
Where do you recommend picking mikans in Japan?
One of our favorite locations to pick and eat mikans as a family is in Kanagawa Prefecture. The Tsukuihama Tourist Farm is located in Yokosuka City on the Miura Peninsula. You can eat as many mikans as you will like for 650 yen per person. For children who are not yet in elementary school, their admission fee was 450 yen per child. After paying the admissions fee, you are given a small basket and pruning shears. The trees are along the grassy hillside and you will want to wear sturdy shoes for this task. The orchard that my kid went to for their field trip allowed their school group to take some home. What a nice treat.
How to get there
Address: 5 Chome-15-20 Tsukui, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-0843
|Car||Driving directions are very easy and parking is free at the farm.|
|Public Transit||From Tsukuihama Station on the Keikyu Kurihama Line, it’s about 8-minutes by taxi or 25-minutes on foot. On the weekend, a shuttle bus runs from the train station to the farm.|
I can’t find mikans! Can I use different oranges?
Yes, you can. For this recipe, I had small mikans to work with. You can use 3 oranges, medium in size for this recipe. Hopefully soon, I can use this recipe and make my own yuzu marmalade!
What’s the difference between a jam and a marmalade?
Good question! Here’s the quick version of that answer:
Jam: chopped or pureed fruit + sugar
Marmalade: whole citrus (either chopped or left intact) + sugar
You don’t need to purchase pectin when you make marmalade since the citrus rinds contain a ton of pectin. This is how it ends up with a firmer texture more similar to jelly. When you spread your marmalade on toast, you will get some pulp and candied peel giving a delicious concentrated orange flavor.
How can I store my marmalade?
Personally, after all the work, I like to process my jar in a hot water bath. This canning process allows me to store my marmalade for months in my cupboard and not go bad.
Keep on reading to find out how to do this step.
Mikan Marmalade Recipe
- Mandoline slicer
- Dutch Oven and Lid
- Candy thermometer
- 1 8 oz Canning Jar
- 6 mikans
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Cut the oranges into thin slices using your mandoline or your sharp knife. Remember, you don't want large pieces of the peel on your toast!
- Place the oranges in a large pot and add the water.
- Soak the oranges in water overnight.
- Place the pot over high heat and boil the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low, add the sugar, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and boil the marmalade until thickened (220 degrees F).
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Carefully spoon the marmalade into a sterilized jar (allowing about 1/2-inch of head-space), wipe the rim with a clean cloth, add the lid, and submerge in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes.
If you’ve made this marmalade, please let me know in the comment section below, and let me know how you like them.