23 Aug2007

Frozen Kalamansi Cubes

by Marketman


A few weeks ago we had a bounty of fresh kalamansi (calamondin) fruit. To prevent wasting several kilos of the fruit which was ripening faster than we could use it, we squeezed out the juice from about 5 kilos worth of fruit and froze the juice in ice cube trays. Once they were solid, we transfered the kalamansi cubes to a zip lock bag and kept it in the freezer. Why am I posting about this? Because I find that with a little thought and foresight and freezer and refrigerator management, we can be much more efficient, economical, logical and practical. From the frozen kalamansi cubes we can easily make hot kalamansi juices during the cold and flu-prone rainy season, we can make cold kalamamsi juices, we can throw the cubes into a room temperature glass of 7up with some ice cubes for a homemade orangina-style drink, use it in pies, and you can even cook with the kalamansi cubes if you like. It isn’t as good as using freshly squeezed fruit but it is no fuss, no muss and quick. Many years ago I even tried freezing coke so that my glass of coke with coke cubes wouldn’t get unduly watery…but I never did that again…




  1. Candygirl says:

    I have a bolognese sauce on the stove as I type this. It required 2 cups of red wine which I didn’t have so I just skipped it. I thought of freezing leftover red wine in ice cube trays so I could have it on hand in the future. It would freeze naman di ba?

    Aug 23, 2007 | 3:18 pm


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  3. amateur misanthrope says:

    What a coincidence. That’s exactly what we did this afternoon. Squeeze calamansi juice for icecubes! This morning in the market a man was selling calamansi at a cheap price: P5 per pile. So we bought calamansi worth P20: about three kilos, I think. Wonderful coincidence. I just visited your blog yesterday for your carbonara recipe…

    Aug 23, 2007 | 3:44 pm

  4. linda says:

    I wish I had some of your calamansi icecubes so I can whiz up some granita.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 3:55 pm

  5. i'lltaketwoplease says:

    great idea! don’t they recommend this for chicken broth/stock so that you have it handy, especially when you don’t always have a gazillion hours to make fresh, homemade stock? At Trader Joe’s they used to sell frozen cubes of herbs or sauces like pesto.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 4:05 pm

  6. trinainmanila says:

    Now why haven’t I thought of this one?! (smacks forehead, and heads for the palengke)

    Aug 23, 2007 | 4:25 pm

  7. T. says:

    Hi, MM – belated happy birthday! Gotta say again how proud I am of my cousin, Gaita; I’m so glad she was part of your celebration – her work is phenomenal, as you know, and every time I come back I try to eat her creations at least once.

    Still vacationing in France, a food-lover’s paradise, and I’m constantly thinking of things I WISH we had in the states – great, fresh milk, fromage blanc, good mangoes, and yes, KALAMANSI! It shouldn”t be too hard to grow it in the warmer places, right? You’d think someone would catch on to this, one of our natural/culinary treasures! So much better than other citrus fruits! Wish I could transport your kalamansi cubes here Star-Trek style, in a matter of moments…

    Aug 23, 2007 | 4:42 pm

  8. kaoko says:

    Nigella Lawson recommends doing the same thing with homemade stock :D So if your recipe calls for a small amount of stock only, say for a sauce or something, you don’t have to defrost a whole block.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 5:20 pm

  9. bernadette says:

    yep, I also take time out to squeeze calamansi when our trees produce an abundance of them. This usually yield not just blocks of ice calamansi but jars and jars of them. I also buy lots garlic and also take time to peel and osterize them…and jar them too. Because of this I mark all my jars which will be used solely for calamansi or garlic.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 6:02 pm

  10. DADD-F says:

    You have gorgeous photos of what would otherwise be simple lemonsito. This is what I do all the time. Squeezing out the juice and putting in the freezer, not the photos. Hehe…. nything that can be done/made ahead of time: stocks, chilli sauces, etc. that would make life in the kitchen a little bit easier. Mas matipid din nga if a certain item happens to be in season and/or cheap when you go to market. Less gastos, less time, less effort.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 6:05 pm

  11. Colleen says:

    First of all, allow me to greet you a belated Happy Birthday!

    We are now able to buy frozen packets of kalamsi juice in Filipino stores here. They are sold in individual packets (like your take out catsup or mayo at McDonalds or Burger King outlets). It is so convenient especially when you just need a small amount for your cooking. I use the frozen kalamansi for my pinaksiw (instead of vinegar) and it tastes milder and less acidic. Powdered kalamansi is also being sold now. Good for quick seasoning on your fried fish. A dash of salt, a quick turn of your peppermill & a sprinkle of kalamansi powder, and voila! the pritong isda has never been soooo good! takes me back (home) all the time. :-)

    Aug 23, 2007 | 6:08 pm

  12. MegaMom says:

    I’ve frozen kalamansi juice and used it to make my Pinoy version of a frozen Margarita. Your recent post has inspired me to do it again. So amateur misanthrope, which palengke was this where kalamansi was cheap? :)
    By the way, I also did this for baby food (when my kids were in the weaning phase). Never gave them the commercial bottled stuff. I always made it from scratch with the freshest ingredients, then froze them in ice cube trays where I would keep them for a week max.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 6:46 pm

  13. Elaine says:

    I have bought these rubber ice trays at ikea here in toronto for freezing those leftover bits of fruit juice, the half full contents of a tomato paste can, minced fresh herbs, spare broth from a pot of nilaga (to later add to my puppy’s food)… It’s so convenient! The trick is to label everything you freeze…or else one day a few weeks or months later you’ll never remember what is inside that cube!

    I envy you for having fresh calamansi…the closest i can get is a concentrate liquid at the nearest flip store.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 8:31 pm

  14. joey says:

    This is a great idea! I should try this because my calamansi always turns rotten on me :( This way I’ll always have some on hand for bistek ;)

    Aug 23, 2007 | 8:33 pm

  15. Markee says:




    Aug 23, 2007 | 9:34 pm

  16. nikka says:

    Hi MM! My hubby and I used to do this when we were still living in Subic. We planted a tree on our first year there, and didn’t realize we had 5 trees/bushes on the property already! Lots of calmansi, lots of juice.

    I love the concept of pre-measured frozen everything. My baby is just starting solids so I’ve made him organic applesauce, strained carrots, and pureed kalabasa. All frozen in ice-cube trays for individual servings.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 10:07 pm

  17. Apicio says:

    Colleen, Where is here where you can buy frozen unsweetened calamansi juice?

    Markee, In mho, anyone who writes offensive things about other people should be ignored, not encouraged with more hits.

    Aug 23, 2007 | 10:37 pm

  18. The Steak Lady says:

    I totally agree with you Apicio

    Aug 24, 2007 | 1:51 am

  19. ykmd says:

    Apicio, in answer to your question to Colleen, the brand available here is called Manila Gold. I live in the Seattle area and have found it in several Asian and Filipino stores.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 3:49 am

  20. Marketman says:

    Candygirl, alcohol at a certain concentration doesn’t freeze… thus one can keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer and still be able to pour it. But I think wine will freeze, and for cooking purposes I suppose it would work. linda, they don’t sell calamondin in Australia? I’lltaketwoplease and Kaoko, yes this is great for broth as well, then in larger portions for leftover canned whole or chopped tomatoes, etc. T., surprisingly, there is fresh and apparently frozen calamansi in the U.S. If you google calamondin, you will find an abundance of the fruit grown in backyards in Florida and California so I suspect a little bit of hunting will find you a source of this.

    Markee, yes I have read Ms. Fernandez’s original offensive article, the reactions to it in the blogworld and her equally offensive rejoinder. Several readers have privately emailed me on this issue and this is the jist of my answer to all of them.

    I do feel very protective of OFW’s and have had strong views in the past with respect to their situation and the need to go elsewhere to find work. I do think many of Ms. Fernandez’s comments crossed the line of good taste and they were uncalled for and are offensive. I think her editors were bizarrely absent and insensitive as well. However, rather than ranting on it here, I would just like to point out a couple of things…

    1. Notoreity is the latest and easiest ingredient to modern “fame.” All you have to do is look at any number of the current flock of lifestyle writers on blogs, magazines and newspapers to realize that. It isn’t about content, it is about flash factor.

    2. Being controversial is more effective PR wise than being a solid, content-driven, scrupulous person.

    3. As the consuming public, WE THRIVE on stupid and insensitive comments and fight back with our own, but in the process bring attention precisely to the person/issue that should actually, in fact, simply be totally ignored.

    4. The reason the current rash of utterly vacuous lifestyle personalities thrives is PRECISELY because we lap it up. It is partially our own fault that they are at the forefront of the press because the public reads them so voraciously.

    5. The phenomenon is not totally local. All you need to look at are the tabloids in the West and recent stories such as Paris Hilton in jail, or Lindsey Lohan in rehab. The list is endless…

    6. My take on this is to ignore it except for this comment to let you and the other readers know what I am thinking with respect to this issue.

    7. I would think it punishment enough that Ms. Fernandez should FEAR ever riding in economy class again on an international or local flight lest a pissed off OFW takes matters into his or her own hands, if you know what I mean… Can she risk sleeping in a hotel abroad that might have housekeepers who are Filipino, or take a cruise where the crew is Pinoy? Can she walk the streets of Rome or Milan or Madrid without worrying about being pelted with rotten eggs? Get medical treatments in the U.S. and not be attended to by a Pinoy/Pinay nurse?

    8. And a final little jab — folks who really have it are much less likely to flaunt it — unless they made their fortune illegally, in entertainment, sports, or won the Lotto… but that is just my opinion. It is far more classy not to worry about what class you are in (in a plane or socially for that matter). As for the bulk of luxury goods purchases, I would estimate that 95% of all luxury goods sales in the world are purchased by folks with modest incomes, not by billionaires. More real and fake Louis Vuitton bags and maletas are now sold in China than in France… Let’s face it, you haven’t really arrived unless you do so in a private jet. And that, by the way, is the only way you will reduce the scuff marks on your real leather luggage, not vinyl Vuittons. But then again, if you are flying private, you wouldn’t care if your maletas get scruffy. For that matter, if you have really arrived, you wouldn’t need maletas because you would have a full wardrobe at all of your pied-a-terres in HK, Paris, London, New York and San Francisco and would thus never have to bring any luggage…

    I sometimes write bluntly (or is it tongue-in-cheek) on this blog, but I do try to remain relatively logical and civil.

    My conclusion? Ignore the woman with respect to this issue. But do enough googling to recall what she looks like just in case she sits next to you on your next holiday trip… hahaha. And yes, I do know that many of her so-called chi-chi friends do, in fact, read this blog (hopefully for the content, not my notoreity). Not to mention people who know her, but wouldn’t admit that so readily these days…


    Aug 24, 2007 | 5:30 am

  21. Doddie from Korea says:

    Marketman, thank you for stating the obvious and for writing what I have wanted to say about THAT issue/woman.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 6:01 am

  22. Apicio says:

    Thanks for the info Ykmd. I have been asking about this item from Toronto Filipino food merchants for the last twenty years and I have been asking really nicely too. Now there seems to be a telltale light an the end of the benighted tunnel since it has reached Seattle. With some luck it will probably reach us here in Toronto within my lifetime.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 6:12 am

  23. Ted says:

    You can actually freeze these calamansi/calamondin’s without sqeezing them out, come time to use them for condiments, just zap them in the microwave for 20-30secs and they are as good as fresh.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 8:22 am

  24. Marketman says:

    Ted, that is SO cool. I would never have thought to store them that way! Thanks!

    Aug 24, 2007 | 8:24 am

  25. CecileJ says:

    Frozen calamansi juice is a GREAT idea. However, if you are after the vitamin C content of the fruit, I think I read somewhere that juice of calamansi, when squeezed and stored, loses the vitamins over time. Also, mixing the juice with hot water also destroys the vitamin content. Any nutritionists out there who can shed light on this?

    Aug 24, 2007 | 8:56 am

  26. erleen says:

    nigella lawson does the same thing with leftover wine.

    as for the Malu Fernandez issue, it seems that she has apologized (not sure if it is really her).


    Aug 24, 2007 | 9:47 am

  27. erleen says:

    Aug 24, 2007 | 9:50 am

  28. dee bee says:

    great idea, should’ve thought to do this to see me through winter. having said that, this winter our calamansi plants are fruiting profusely… so was able to make calamansi muffins using MM’s recipe.
    i usually have a supply of frozen stock cubes, chicken, veal, pork, vegie… got this idea from the egullet forum. i make a big pot of stock, reduce to demi-glace to save space, then make ice cubes out of it. very handy.
    Ted, thanks, i’ve just popped a few pieces of calamansi in the freezer :)
    we do have calamondin in australia… rarely see them in the markets tho, oval-shaped ones called kumquat are more common. for a reliable supply, plant your own :D they grow well in pots, too.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 10:19 am

  29. lee says:

    reminds me of a a digital painting i made in yellow hues recently.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 11:09 am

  30. annette says:

    Excuse me. . .what or who are we talking bout? Is it Calamansi Fernandez . . .sorry, I just got confused.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 2:02 pm

  31. meekerz says:

    I do the freeze thing on fruits I get cheap :D In the summer when I get the chance to buy nice cheap mangoes, I puree then all up and freeze. Same goes with watermelons and strawberries :) and soup stock!

    Aug 24, 2007 | 2:19 pm

  32. Colleen says:

    hi there Apicio:

    Sorry for the delayed response, but yes, the brand name is Manila Gold and by here, I meant Washington DC. Sorry for the vague statement. I get this item from Filipino stores in the Northern Virginia area.

    Aug 24, 2007 | 6:01 pm

  33. suzette says:

    ms. malu has already apologized and resigned from the manila standard and people asia, hope that matter will be laid now to rest… huh? what frozen kalamansi are you talking about? isn’t this about her controversial article??? hahaha

    Aug 24, 2007 | 10:24 pm

  34. Johnny says:

    Hi MM,
    First of all, belated hapi-hapi! Have you ever thought of making honeymansi? I don’t know how to make it and haven’t had it in a while but I clearly remember that it’s simply delicioso!

    Aug 24, 2007 | 10:50 pm

  35. MRJP says:

    My God! I wonder how much more mean this Malu Fernandez could have been if she was born pretty? Or at least slim???

    Just looking at her picture and reading what she wrote, I could not help but think that she is one social climber, an ugly duckling thinking she’s a swan. She doesnt even look fabulous to me, nor rich, nor with an ounce of class. She is trying really very hard to be “up” there.

    Aug 25, 2007 | 3:56 am

  36. Ted says:

    Johnny, I’m not sure if you are talking about a drink, but I have my own version of honeymansi to relieve sorethroat. I would put a little honey in a tablespoon and squeeze 1 ripe calamansi over the top to cut the sweetness and take it orally. Works like magic.

    Aug 25, 2007 | 5:27 am

  37. Johnny says:

    Yes, I am talking about the drink. I remember them being sold in 8 oz bottles. You just add some water to dilute it and then it’s ready drink. It was really good.

    Aug 25, 2007 | 10:45 pm

  38. rj says:

    This is soo funny!! i just noticed Calamansi, Ms. Hernandez? for some reason it co-relates to each other.. Calamansi – “a Souring agent” Ms. Hernandez – a Sour, Insensitive FUGGLY Creature heehee…

    Jan 10, 2008 | 5:57 am


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