What is a finger lime (AKA a caviar lime)?

finger lime

I’m not very good at budgeting when it comes to food. Sure, I save money when I dine out by only having one drink with dinner and sharing appetizers with friends. But when it comes to cooking at home, sometimes I can’t help myself when it comes to exotic (read: expensive) ingredients. Sometimes I buy things that I’ve never heard of just to taste them. Like last weekend when I bought a lemon cucumber at Brooklyn Kitchen. Yes, a lemon cucumber. It’s a genetic cross between a lemon and a cucmber, sort of like a pluot (plum + apricot). It was weird and tasted just like you would imagine…a lemony cucumber. It looked like a small honeydew melon and the skin was halfway between rind and thin cucumber skin. In a word: bizarre. Probably not worth the 4 dollars I spent on it.

lemon cucumber

At this time I can’t exactly remember where I first encountered finger limes. No doubt, I read about them on some other lady’s food blog and endeavored to make something better and prettier than whatever she had some up with. The problem is that I couldn’t find them anywhere. The Manhattan Fruit exchange didn’t have them, citarella didn’t have them, nor did any of the farmer’s markets. Turns out they are a wild Australian plant that are extremely hard to find. But some genius famers in California have picked up on the trend. You can buy them online if you’re willing to shell out some serious cash. I ordered mine from this site: Good Land Organics.  Plus, they come in a cute little cotton bag!

good land organics

A finger (or caviar lime) is a tiny little lime that is oblong (like a finger) with tiny little balls of juice inside, like naturally occurring caviar. Finger limes (Citrus australasica) have a pleasant tangy flavor almost like lime juice steeped in lemongrass.

Are you ready for the most high-brow/low-brow food combo of all time? Corona with finger lime caviar.

corona with finger lime

That’s right readers, squeeze your finger lime into your Corona. Sip, chew, ball of juice explodes, happiness.

finger lime and corona

Note: It’s incredibly difficult to take a photo of oneself squeezing a finger lime into a bottle of corona.

I’ve been cooking up a storm with these babies, but one of my favorites was a very simple cold noodle salad. You’ll notice the somen noodles I used are a beautiful pink color. I picked these up from Nishki Market in Kyoto two years ago and have not been able to find them stateside. Regular somen noodles will do quite nicely. This dish, like revenge, is best served cold. It makes a fantastic lunch to take to work.

DSC_7537

Somen Noodles with Finger Limes and Soy Sauce

Serves 1 

You will need:

1 serving of somen noodles (usually bundled into portions for you)

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon lime juice

2 finger limes

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 scallion, finely chopped

Method:

1. Cook the somen noodles for 3-5 minutes in boiling water. Run the noodles under cold water and add ice to cool immediately.

2. Mix the soy sauce and lime together in a serving bowl. Toss with the noodles and scallions.

3. Cut the finger limes in half and squeeze out the pulp. Sprinkle on top along with the sesame seeds.

somen noodles Like this post? Try one of these:

Black Garlic Soba Noodles 

Japanese Breakfast Soup: Ochazuke 

Eggplant with Soy Sauce and Lime 

 

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