This Satsuma Mandarin recipe is bright and refreshing and has a tangy lime dressing with bits of crunchy shallots and aromatic basil. This winter salad comes together in just a few minutes and makes for a beautiful first course or side.
Satsuma Mandarins are often called Satsuma Tangerines, Satsuma Oranges or Citrus Unshiu.
They are of the most delicious winter treats -- I could make Satsuma recipes every day!
What are Satsumas?
- Satsumas are smaller than oranges and have a somewhat flattened sphere shape.
- Mostly seedless, they peel quite easily and are a variety of mandarin oranges, related to tangerines, clementines, and other citrus fruits.
- They are one of the most juicy citrus fruits, with a balanced sweet and tart flavor.
- Native to Japan, and likely discovered as early as the 14th century. They were introduced to the United States around 1876.
- The name 'Satsuma' was officially given to this citrus in the 1880's after a former province in Japan named Satsuma, located on the southern tip of Kyushu Island.
- Satsuma mandarins are usually eaten fresh, but are often added to green salads and used in cocktails and desserts.
- Like most citrus fruits, they're typically in season mid-November through February.
- You can read much more about their history here.
Satsuma Salad Ingredients
- Satsuma tangerines - Look for Satsumas that are firm to slightly soft with a deep orange color. They should be heavy for their size.
- lime zest
- lime juice
- shallots - Shallots a slightly more mild and delicate than red onions. Choose shallots that are heavy for their size and without bruises.
- extra virgin olive oil - I use this one.
- fresh basil - Look for perky bunches of basil and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- salt - I like cooking with with Kosher salt over other types of salt for because of its larger flake size, which makes it easy to pick up and sprinkle over food.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
Substitutions and Variations
- Satsuma tangerines. Since I have access to a gorgeous Satsuma tree, I always make this recipe during their season. That said, you can also make it with any citrus you like. I'd recommend using one that's seedless like Navel Oranges, Cara Caras or Sumos, as they'll be much easier to slice and presents beautifully.
- If you want to add other ingredients, you can add any greens you like. It's delicious with Arugula and/or mixed baby greens.
- Sometimes Satsumas are super sweet and less tart, and sometimes it's the other way around. I only add the honey (on the ingredient list) when they're more on the tart side. Taste them first and then it's your call.
- A very sharp knife is essential to get pretty slices of citrus.
- I like how the tangerines present sliced horizontally, but you can slice them any way you'd like to.
More Must-Try Citrus Recipes
- Whitefish with Citrus Avocado Salsa
- Citrus Carpaccio with Yuzu Dressing
- Citrus Caprese Kebabs with Mint
- Citrus Ginger Pie Recipe
Can you make it ahead?
- Fresh Satsuma Salad is best served cold, and can be made up to two hours ahead of time, if kept refrigerated and tightly sealed with plastic wrap. (The flavor becomes more complex when they've marinated a bit in the dressing.)
- The dressing can be made up to a couple of days ahead. Keep it refrigerated, and bring it to room temperature before using it if the oil has solidified.
I hope you love this Satsuma Mandarin dish as much as I do!
Satsuma Mandarin Recipe
- zest of about ½ of a lime
- juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil, washed and dried
- 1 pound Satsumas (about 6 satsumas)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Make the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, honey, basil, shallots and salt. Then add the oil and whisk.
- Prepare the fruit. Peel the Satsumas, and then slice them horizontally, into slices that are about ¼ inch thick.
- Assemble. Either mix the Satsuma slices into the dressing, or arrange them on a plate or platter and drizzle the dressing over them. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.