Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Buddha's Hand Citrus Fruit

There is citrus plant which produces fruit with many segments human-like finger clusters or resemble human fingers from 5-20 segments, so called Buddha Hands. I do not really know who actually called that way for the first time. But I knew that type of citrus usually presented in the altar or placed as an offering during the special Buddha related day, as an offering during New Year in Vietnam with another 4 kind of fruits, it is symbol of luck, happiness, bright day, prosper, good fortune as well as longevity.

About the image above: display of Buddha's Hand at fruit market
in Ho Chi Minh City

About the image above: the segments of the Buddha's Hand

About the image above: inside of the Buddha's Hand fruit

This intriguing citrus fruit is cultivated through its seeds (but so far I did not find any seed yet from many fruit I have cut and use in my food)  or cutting from the branches. The tree will grow as young tree large shrub and the branches with thorny spikes, evergreen and produce flower then young fruits. The leaves are purple when young and turn to green as soon as grow tall as 3-5 meters or more. The white-purple flowers then turn to green-purple fruits when young and turned to green and then become very beautiful yellow lemon fruit when it ready to harvest.

The native of the Buddha’s Hand citrus to North East India, China and surroundings region and now can fine in many part of the world. In the ancient time the Buddha’s Hand was in use religion purposes as offering and sometime for the ingredients of traditional healing medicine, but today many uses of this mutant bizarre-look citrus as discovered of the content in it and the creativity of talented chefs.

This ornamental fruit has very mysterious, mind healing, delicious, nature clean, last long fragrance as you displayed in the room will give amazing perfume about a week or more if you store it in the air-conditioned room.

The use of the Buddha’s Hand citrus fruit

  • Religius: as display for offering during particular Buddha’s day or New Year offering as in Vietnam consider one of the 5 kind of fruits (Mam Ngu Qua – together with green bananas, plums, peaches and orange or chilies)
  • Medicine: As ingredient of traditional medicine or tonic. Boiled in water and drink it to cure stomach ache and reduce blood pressure.
  • Beverage: soaked in wine or vodka and keep for a month then drink for the amazing aroma and texture of the beverage
  • Food: to flavor the food like cream caramel, crème brule, vinaigrette, salad dressing, jam, pastry, ingredient for salad, serve to flavor cheese and many more.
  • Perfume/fragrant: to give fragrant smell for the room when you hang it.

 Here some recipes you may want to give a try!

Buddha’s Hand Vinaigrette
Make 1 cup

2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 finger of Buddha’s Hand zest
Salt and pepper to taste

About the image above: Buddha's Hand vinaigrette

To prepare the vinaigrette: in a blender, combine the ingredients and blend them to combine. Store it in a container for later use.

Sliced Black Forest Ham and Asparagus with Buddha’s hand Vinaigrette
Makes 2 servings

12 pieces of cooked green asparagus
16 slices of black forest ham
3 tablespoons of Buddha’s hand vinaigrette
Some milled black pepper

About the image above: sliced black forest ham
green asparagus and Buddha's Hand vinaigrette

To prepare the salad: arrange the asparagus and sliced black forest ham nicely on plate.
Drizzle with Buddha’s Hand vinaigrette and sprinkled with some zest and serve immediately.

Seared Kampachi Fillet with Buddha’s Hand Shallot Butter
Makes 2 servings

4 fillets of fresh kampachi, about 80 grams each
salt and pepper to taste
½ piece of lemon to season
4 tablespoons of Buddha’s Hand Shallot Butter
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Buddha’s Hand Shallot Butter
Make ½ cup

2 fingers of Buddha’s Hand zest
1 tablespoon of chopped shallot
1/3 cup of white wine
½ cup of unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
dash of chili flakes
½ tablespoon of freshly squeezed yellow lemon juice

About the image above: seared kampachi fillet
with Buddha's Hand shallot buffet

To prepare the sauce: in a small pot combine the chopped shallot and white wine and reduce it to half. Add in the butter and quickly combine with the Buddha’s Hand zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Check the seasonings and serve it with the fish.

To prepare the kampachi: season and marinated the fish with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Seared the kampachi and then place in a try, to cook further in the oven for about 5 minutes at 185 degrees Celsius.  Arrange the kampachi fillet on a plate and serve it with Buddha’s Hand shallot butter. Serve it immediately.

Buddha’s Hand Smoothies
Makes 4 servings

1 cups of milk
2½ cups of yogurt
1 tablespoon of Buddha’s Hand zest
3tablespoon of lemon honey
½ teaspoon of freshly squeeze lemon juice
¼ cup of crushed ice

About the image above: Buddha's Hand smoothies

To prepare the smoothies: combine the ingredients in a blender and pulse it to smooth the Buddha’s Hand zest and make sure it is mixed well. Keep in fridge until you need to serve. The cooler is the better. Pour in glasses when serving. Garnish with some of the Buddha’s Hand zest and serve.

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