The Australian Finger Lime (Paired with Scallops)

Just a Sample, folks – I ate this for a noon snack on Thanksgiving, before going over to a Thanksgiving Dinner that would start at two, presumably.  Taking a little edge off the desire for lunch, and something healthy, before the feast.  Besides, I only had one finger lime.  Expand upwards with this recipe if you have more finger limes!  This was simply a taste test!  (AND, it passes with flying colors!!!)

finger lime scallop2-

Finger lime pulp on a sea scallop.

The Australian finger lime (Citrus australasica- hey, it’s got its own species name!) is a small citrus fruit with a unique shape – it is short and elongated.  Also unusual, the pulp inside consists of many small little balls, slightly smaller than those of Japanese flying fish roe.  This is a small tree or a large shrub indigenous to Australia.  It has thorns, and the leaves are smaller than those of more common citrus plants.

Finger Lime, Scallop, Recipe

Home grown, just prior to plucking.

I ordered one last spring, and kept it outdoors all summer.  Recently, I dragged it and all the other citrus plants indoors, and it appears to be doing well.  Technically, you should remove all fruit its first couple years, as it needs to put its energy into growth and roots, but leaving one fruit on seemed quite acceptable.   It was a dark green, then became almost a green-brown.  When I tugged it lightly prior to eating, it separated from its tree with ease, which assures me that it was more than ready.

Recipe, scallops, finger lime

Relative size of Australian finger lime. Which appears to be normal. The other lime is a Thai/kefir lime and this is smaller than usually seen.

The fruit itself has a slight citrus aroma, which once you slice inside, is magnified. The little spheroid shapes spill out once the skin has been cut.  There is very little pith, and I could not determine if there were any seeds.  Surprisingly, the balls of pulp were somewhat pinkish in coloration.  This was dissimilar to photos I’ve seen.  I tasted a few (probably five of them) by themselves — a very nice and enjoyable lime flavor.  Sweet and tart at the same time, much like a… lime?  There’s a little bit of crunch to them, somewhat like the aforementioned flying fish roe.

recipe, finger lime, scallops

I cut this on the diagonal a couple times. The small pulp balls expand out to enjoy the space.

This is supposed to pair well with seafood, as does any conventional lemon or lime.  So I thawed out a few sea scallops for the taste test.  I decided a basic pan fry would be the way to go for the scallops.  As I feel that cooking the finger lime would lessen its flavor profile, I decided to add the lime pulp as the scallops rested.

scallops, recipe, finger lime

The finished plate. Perhaps a good restaurant amuse d’ bouche? (I did squeeze the rest of the pulp on the scallops before consuming, this was for the photo).

The real secret to pan fried scallops is to use a hot skillet, and to make sure the scallops are dry, not wet from any water.

I’ve stopped using coconut aminos for the most part – besides being pricey, they simply taste too sweet for me in most dishes.  Your mileage may differ.

Prep time: 5 minutes on a slow day.
Cook time: About 6 minutes.
Rest time: Long enough to plate and add the finger lime bits.
Serves:  this is just a morsel, for testing.

The Australian Finger Lime (Paired with Scallops)

  • 3 or 4 sea scallops
  • ½ tablespoon ghee or butter
  • a scant ½ teaspoon low sodium GF soy sauce, or for Paleo and for soy-allergies, try coconut aminos.
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 finger lime

In a skillet, heat the ghee or butter to medium/medium high, do not let the butter scorch or give off smoke, but you want this hot.  Test with a drop of water, if the water sizzles, you are good to go.

Add scallops, not touching each other.  Sprinkle with the soy, and then with the ground pepper.

Allow to sizzle for about 3 minutes, flip.  They should be browned and lightly crispy on the hot side.

Add a little more ground pepper if desired, just a half-pinch…

Sizzle another 2-3 minutes, remove and plate.

Slice the lime on the diagonal.  The little balls inside will pop out.

Spread over the scallops on the plate, squeezing the rind to get at all of them.

Sit back and ENJOY! Savor slowly — the lime works well with the scallops, and vice versa.

recipe, finger lime, scallops

Up close and personal.

PS: The next day I tried the fruit of the Thai/kefir lime. I see why this is not anything that appears in recipes.  Even for me, it is way too bitter! The rind is even more bitter! The pulp is dry and practically devoid of juice.  Perhaps that small one was not quite ripe, but it had fallen off the citrus plant on its lonesome, and the fruit itself had a great aroma.   However, there are two large kefir limes on that tree:  I’ll give them a try sometime (but not expecting much — it is the leaves that should be the star of that show.  

Thai limei, kefir lime

Thai or kefir lime, the fruit here is a little over an inch in diameter.


Thai lime, kefir lime

The fruit, sliced in half.

Oh, and yes, my bearss lime tree is flowerining!!!  Nice! 

bearss lime

The flower of a Bearss (supermarket) lime. I’m surprised to see fall flowering.

Your cohosts at the Fiesta Friday food share this week are Judi @ and Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau

Drop by and say hi!  Or share your own dish!

About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Seafood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Australian Finger Lime (Paired with Scallops)

  1. Where did you order your citrus plants? I’ve been wanting them for like forever! The finger and the Thai limes both. But prices seem to vary greatly from one vendor to another. I used to have a calamansi and a regular lemon, both from the same seller. Both croaked within a year! I think it was because of scale infestation. Hard to grow citrus successfully in our zone, but I’ll be willing to give it another try. The finger lime especially is SOOO….intriguing!

    • I ended up ordering my citrus trees from two different sources: Raintree Nursery, which is located in the Pacific Northwest, and Fast Growing Trees, somewhere more southerly. Besides the three varieties of limes, I also have a blood orange (which is growing nicely but hasn’t done anything yet in the way of making flowers or fruits. (But they are all small enough it is best if their energies continue towards actual plant growth at this stage.) This next year I hope to add in a regular lemon and a Meyer lemon. I am not familiar with calamansi.

  2. I’ve never heard (I don’t think) of finger limes but how interesting. The insides look like fish eggs – how fun. Not being a big scallop eater I might have to substitute shrimp. Thanks for sharing such neat information with Fiesta Friday.

  3. Thank you for a lovely introduction to this new to me fruit! It’s like lime caviar!! I bet it was wonderful with those scallops!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!


  4. Pingback: Happy New Year, 2018! | Of Goats and Greens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s