Putting the Orange Family to Work

We often keep clementines and tangerines around for snacking, and we wondered if they would work as a substitute for oranges in recipes.

We rounded up clementines, tangerines, and tangelos and used their segments, juice, and zest in our recipes for Crispy Orange Beef; Mango, Orange, and Jicama Salad; and Orange Crème Fraîche. We found that, while the flavor profile of these dishes changed slightly depending on the citrus used, all substitutions were acceptable except for the Tangelo Crème Fraîche, which was too runny. Tangelos release a lot of juice, so if consistency is critical to a recipe’s success, briefly strain excess juice from the segments before using them. Below are the amounts of zest, juice, and segments that an average fruit yields.

Zest YieldJuice YieldSegments YieldFlavor NotesTips
Navel Orange1 1/2 tbs1/2 cup3/4 cupMildly acidic, sweet,balanced citrusy flavorRemove tough membrane from segments
Tangelo1 tbs3/4 cup3/4 cupTart, bright, intense, some sweetness, hint of bitterness on the finishRemove tough membrane from segments
Tangerine1 tsp1/4 cup3/4 cupSweet, floral, tropicalVery juicy; strain excess juice from segments before using
Clementine1 tsp2 tbs1/2 cupSweet, somewhat one-dimensional

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