This Satsuma Mandarin recipe is bright and refreshing and has a tangy lime dressing with bits of crunchy shallots and aromatic basil. This winter citrus dish comes together in just a few minutes and makes for a beautiful first course or side.
Satsuma Mandarins (often called Satsuma Tangerines, Satsuma Oranges or Citrus Unshiu), are one of the most delicious winter treats.
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.
- You can read much more about their history here.
When is Satsuma Mandarin season?
Like most citrus fruits, they’re typically in season mid-November through February.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- 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.
- Since my dad has a gorgeous Satsuma tree in his backyard, 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, as it will be much easier to slice and presents beautifully.
- 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.)
I hope you love this Satsuma Mandarin recipe as much as I do.
More citrus recipes:
- Whitefish with Citrus Avocado Salsa
- Citrus Carpaccio with Yuzu Dressing
- Citrus Caprese Kebabs with Mint
- Citrus Ginger Pie Recipe
And this beautiful Citrus Carrot Salad. . .
Satsuma Mandarin Recipe
- 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.