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The Lime Correspondent: The culinary use of lime

By Patrick Gallagher

Last week, I discussed how to know a good lime from a bad lime, as well as how to optimally juice a lime. The next step in this progression is to discuss where to go with the lime once bought and juiced. This article will cover three recipes that are sure to make you appreciate limes, despite the current shortage. Let these recipes be a reminder of the power limes have on the taste of a dish, as without them, certain types of cuisines fall apart at their seams.

The first recipe is a chicken stir fry infused with a lime sauce. The dish is Thai in origin, and interestingly enough, requires leaves from Kaffir lime. These leaves can be found at many Asian food markets, although they are typically frozen. A full recipe can be found here, and I will cover the highlights of the dish, rather than list all of the ingredients.

Once again we see a scenario in which limes cannot be replaced with lemons. The addition of Kaffir lime leaves is integral to the aromatic flavor of the dish. Many nations in Southeast Asia use the rind and leaves of Kaffir limes in their cuisine, including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.

It would make perfect sense for Mexico, one of the world’s largest suppliers of limes, to use the fruit in their cuisine. Outside of the current shortage, limes can be found squeezed onto tacos street vendors sell and put into a variety of beverages and dishes to add flavor. One such Mexican recipe is sopa de lima, or lime soup, found here.

Mind you, this recipe requires six juiced limes, so be sure not to skimp out on juicing, but you’re already prepared for that. A great quality of this dish is that it combines the bitter-sour taste of the lime with the spice of chile peppers. This assault of flavors will leave your tongue unable to cope with anything less.

And of course, what would a hot summer day be without a glass of limeade? After about a year of trying to make limeade at home, and going off of several recipes I found online, I have my own recipe for limeade. The ingredients are simple and expected: water, sugar and limes. For every gallon of limeade, I add a cup of sugar and about 13 to 15 juiced limes. I recommend adding sugar after adding the lime juice, so that you can sweeten the limeade up to your taste. Some prefer it more tart, and others sweet.

An alternative recipe I like to use on special occasion calls for honey instead of sugar. In a large pot, pour in about a gallon of water for every gallon of limeade you want to make. Then, add the lime juice, and finally, one cup of honey per gallon of limeade. Place the pot on the stove and heat it, mixing to make sure the honey dissolves. After all the honey has dissolved, place the pot in a refrigerator to cool off. The limeade should be warm, but not boiling hot before cooling.

There is much more to limes and cooking than this article leads on. The world is full of many exotic dishes, many of which have yet to be discovered by the average person. Take this article as a key — a key into a world full of limes and culinary excellence. Let this fruit be the vessel that takes your taste buds to places unknown.


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