Buddha's Hand is one of the oddest and scariest looking members of the citrus family you will ever see - and is simply the very best source of lemon zest.
Scientific Binomial Name: Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus
Citron or Fingered Citron
When any dish calls for lemon zest, look first for Buddha's Hand. Use a small piece as the twist of lemon in your favorite cocktail. It's said that some cultures even use Buddha's Hand as a good luck charm.
Selection & Storage:
Choose firm bright yellow claws where even the very ends of each finger-like digit are of equal color, not browning, soft or limp in any way. If you only need a small amount (and a little goes a long way) ask the produce person to cut off a finger for you as this item is usually sold by the pound - and not the least expensive item in the produce department by any means. Store at cool room temperatures for up to two weeks or refrigerate for up to four weeks.
Avoid any spots that are soft or have decay.Avoid Buddha's Hand that has a dry look or feel to the skin. Definitely smell it first - it should overwhelm your senses with lemon when freshly cut or even lightly scratched with your fingernail.
Buddha's Hand is difficult to find, but best availability will be in the fall, and only from the states (never off-shore).
Buddha's Hand Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon (6g)
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: PMA's Labeling Facts
Buddha's Hand is very high in Vitamin C.
Why not try juicing Buddha's Hand! The fragrant oils will add a zing to any juicing combination.
Buddha's Hand Tips & Trivia
- Buddha's Hand is at its best when used fresh, but can be frozen for use at a later time and still be better than the zest you would get from the average lemon rind.When you can't find Buddha's Hand at your local specialty store (and it is difficult to find), use the peel of a large lightweight lemon, which will have more skin than meat (just the opposite from how you'd usually choose your citrus).