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!!!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh, and yes, my bearss lime tree is flowerining!!! Nice!
Drop by and say hi! Or share your own dish!