We have a tiny local lime called calamansi. Also known as the calamondin, it’s tangy like a lime or lemon and just as versatile in when used as an ingredient. Whether you’re baking or cooking, the calamansi can be used as the ingredient substitute in almost every recipe that calls for lemons or lime juice.
It’s the essential ingredient in the Tagalog bistek recipe. The calamansi is also just as important in inihaw na liempo recipes since it’s the tenderizing ingredient. Most of all, it’s the tangy citrus we grew up with before we discovered that there was a such a thing as its bigger cousin, the lemon.
The calamansi is a commonly used citrus in Filipino food, so if you’re curious how else to use the tiny lime in your cooking and baking, you’ll love these recipes that showcase its potential!
Here are calamansi recipes you should try:
1 Calamansi Muffins Recipe
It’s a rare ingredient to use in baking but there are delicious dessert recipes that take advantage of its tangy taste and fantastic flavor to mix into something irresistible like these muffins. Real Coffee in Boracay made these famous but it’s easy to recreate and relive those moments at the beach. These are topped with a crunchy crumble but these are just as delicious without it or even mixed with some warm coconut flavor.
2 Calamansi Fish Fillets Recipe
Fish fillets are fantastic for quick meals. So it’s not surprising that a simple fish fillet recipe would use calamansi as the main flavoring. It’s a great combination that marries tender fish, tangy calamansi, salty fish sauce, and herby cilantro into a dish that’s fast, easy, and incredibly tasty.
Change things up by making a steamed fish with calamansi cream sauce that you can drizzle on top or serve with simply fried fish fillets you can pack for lunch.
3 Calamansi and Patis-Glazed Lechon Kawali Recipe
Lechon kawali is always an instant hit whenever it’s served. Who can resist that crisp, crunchy pork rind with the tender, succulent pork underneath its fatty layers? This crispy fried pork recipe takes that same lechon kawali and jacks up the flavor profile with a sweet, salty, and tangy calamansi and patis glaze. It elevates this recipe from delicious to memorable.
4 Calamansi Walnut Bars Recipe
There are many ways to make brownies but there are only a few which incorporates an entire cup of calamansi juice into one of its layers. These are like lemon squares but made better, more tangy, and made local by using calamansi in the curd that tops the walnut crust.
5 Papaya-Calamansi Sorbet Recipe
Sorbets are the icy big sister of the ice candy and the granita. What makes it different from these two is its smoother consistency. It’s usually churned like ice cream, but it’s a step that can be skipped with this easy tweak: freeze the fruits before processing it. This sorbet recipe uses that technique to make this no-churn sorbet.
Try this papaya-calamansi sorbet recipe!
6 Calamansi Fried Chicken Recipe
Fried chicken is irresistible. So imagine how easy it would be if this were boneless and paired with a fried rice recipe that had a hint of tangy calamansi. You can even make these into skewers or this delicious fried chicken sitting in a tangy calamansi-infused sauce.
7 Calamansi Fried Pork Chops Recipe
If you loved the fish fillet recipe with a squeeze of calamansi, these pork chops will satisfy just as much, if not more. The hearty pork chops are similarly easy to cook, and it gets its pop of flavor from the calamansi as it cooks for maximum infusion into the pork.
8 Calamansi Fried Rice Recipe
Leftover rice can be more than just fried rice! Take the batch of leftover rice and instead of tossing it in a wok, mix it in with other ingredients to make a perfectly easy rice salad that you can serve with your favorite ulam dish or as is.
9 Spaghettini with Shrimp and Calamansi Recipe
If you have calamansi on hand, it’s a great substitute for lemons in any garlic and shrimp pasta recipe and takes advantage of its wonderful tanginess. The citrus flavor is doubled in this recipe by using both the juice and the zest of the tiny calamansi to amp up the flavor. The shrimp provides the wonderfully warm, sweet flavor contrast that marries the flavors together into a highly satisfying shrimp pasta dish.
10 Soy-Calamansi Tuna Belly Recipe
Simple fish recipes are common and it takes advantage of the fact that we have access to incredibly fresh seafood. Tuna belly is delicious on its own, even with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, so it’s easy to make a tiny tweak to its recipe to make it better. There’s no sacrificing the fresh flavor of the tuna belly when it’s marinated lightly. In fact, it’s an enhancement that will make you love this recipe more.
The calamansi can be used in so many ways in the kitchen, and not just as an ingredient in your dishes. As an ingredient, it’s a distinct flavor that’s similar to lemons and limes. It requires effort to equal the amount of juice you would get from one lemon from a bunch of calamansi since these are much smaller. However, your effort is not wasted as the flavor you get from the calamansi is comparable to the lemon or the lime. After all, your bistek just won’t taste the same if you use lemons instead of the calamansi.
For more recipes and tips on how to use the delicious calamansi, check these out: