Did you know this is the season for sour oranges / bitter oranges or as we call them in Farsi Narenj ? Sour oranges usually have a deep orange colored fruit, are large, and are juicy. They have a thick dimpled skin. Narenj is a fruit that is very dear to most Persians. Even though we don’t eat them as a fresh fruit, we use them in making jam, pastries, scenting teas and herbal medicine and it’s a must to have at Norouz table with our fish and herbal rice or Sabzi-polo Mahi.
Bitter orange juice comes from a specific type of orange and it’s a smaller orange with thick skin that gets a little wrinkled with deep pores. It’s not the best for chowing down on straight from the tree, but it is a super tasty flavor to add to many of dishes. If you can’t find fresh oranges at your local grocer, try looking for just the juice.
Here’s a few ways to give it a try in your own home:
Bitter orange pairs perfectly with chicken, beef, and even vegetables. Add a little olive oil, some garlic and salt and pepper and your foods for the grill will be ready to go!
2. Seville Orange Marmalade:
When we can find the physical oranges in the store we make sure to buy extra to make this marmalade. It’s a perfect pairing with meats, sweets or on a simple piece of toast once you have the taste for it.
The acidity in these oranges is high enough that you can use the juice like you would vinegar. It’s great in dressings, but it makes amazing pickled onions, ready for tacos, gyros and more!
When mixed with sugar (1/4 cup) and water (1 1/2 cup), this overly bitter juice becomes something quite tasty. It’s a staple beverage in other parts of the world, more specifically South America. So when your food choices turn that direction, mix yourself up a glass and make sure it’s cold, cold, cold! It’s great in cocktails in general and perfect if you own a Soda Stream machine!
5. Fish Wet Rub:
Mixing 3 tablespoons of sour orange juice with 1 glove of roasted garlic (plus salt and pepper to taste) is a great wet rub for fish. It makes your flaky friend a little slimy and a little sour no matter if it’s pan friend, grilled or baked, it works out great in the end.
Messy Moroccan Chicken Wings
These wings are great for a party, or even a night in when you’re looking for something unique or special. If you’re having trouble finding sour orange juice, try looking in the ethnic aisle of your local grocer.