Sunday, December 07, 2014

Buddha's Hand - It's a Fruit!

One day on Twitter I saw a post by John (@bookmineset) showcasing a very interesting fruit. It was almost a year ago. The below conversation happened.
A snippet.

I never forgot the curious looking fruit.  It was always lurking there in the back of my mind.  Plus, I love to try new things.  One day last week, I was in my local Metro and came across a Buddha's hand.

I couldn't resist buying it, even though it was the most expensive produce on that display. $4.99 for that thing! I looked on the the internet (because that's where I look when I don't know something) for a way to prepare Buddha's hand. There were two that appealed to me. One was using it to infuse gin. The other was sautéeing it in garlic and olive oil (the suggestion is in the comments). I chose the second because that was an option I could share with my family.
This is the Buddha's Hand before I cut it.

After I cut the fingers off.

Sliced thinly, ready to be put in the pan. There's no pulp!

Frying garlic, because who doesn't love fried garlic in olive oil.

Throw in the sliced Buddha's Hand with the browned garlic.  It smelled so good.

Looks good with the green beans.
I should have added the Buddha's hand at the same time as the green beans. The Buddha's hand was definitely overcooked. The bitterness of the rind seeped into the flavour of the beans and made the actual slices of the Buddha's hand almost inedible. I also maybe should have peeled the rind off, but the website didn't tell me to do that, so I didn't. It ended up being a bit of a fail.

I did eat some of it raw, so I knew the flavour of the ingredient I was working with (something I recommend). It tasted nice, mild and lemony. The most surprising bit was that there was no pulp. I didn't expect a citrus fruit to be pulpless.  

I'd like to use Buddha's hand again, but I'm not sure when or how. It is pretty expensive just to be experimenting with, especially when, during that same shopping trip, I bought four limes for a dollar. Though the dish didn't turn out great, I learned some things about buddha's hand and maybe about citrus in general. 
One idea I had, for fun, is to do a gin or vodka infusion, with the fingers floating around in the bottle.  Too weird?  Or creepily fun.


  1. How interesting! I've seen this peculiar fruit in the market on occasion and just assumed it was a close cousin of the lemon, based on the outside texture. It's curious that there;s no pulp at all. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    1. The lemon scent is definitely noticeable.

      I'm glad I read up on it first though. Cutting it open with no pulp would have been very surprising.

  2. So glad that you tried this! The gin infusion is inspired!!!

    1. I think that's what I'll do if I ever buy another one... The site also suggested vodka infusion, but I'm more of a gin girl.