Part 1: Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka

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Happy New Year! Although the 52 Kitchen Adventures are technically over, I have another unusual ingredient to share with you…

No, that’s not some odd sea creature. It’s a Buddha’s hand, a fragrant cirton shaped somewhat like a creepy hand. Some of these citrons come with the “fingers” more spread out, although according to tradition, Buddha prefers them to be closed as it symbolizes praying. Buddha’s hand doesn’t have any juice. Under the yellow peel you will find only white pith, which isn’t bitter like most other citrus.

The fruit is so fragrant that many people use it as an air freshener. It also makes a great conversation piece as an interesting centerpiece. But after you use it to brighten your room, don’t just throw it out! You can use Buddha’s hand zest in any recipe that calls for lemon zest. Plus, since the pith isn’t bitter, you don’t have to worry about just zesting the outer layer (which is very challenging with its odd shape). I chose to infuse vodka with the Buddha’s hand rind, which I’ll later use to make limoncello (Buddhacello? maybe citroncello).

Step 1: First, zest and/or finely chop the Buddha’s hand. I ended up using almost the entire fruit. Place into a glass jar or bottle. As you can see, I both zested some of the rind and then ended up finely chopping a lot of it.

Step 2: Cover zest with vodka. I used Svedka, A Swedish vodka which is 80 proof (I’ve read you should use 100 proof, but I didn’t have time to go find that). I used a wide mouthed large Mason jar, which fit the entire 750ml bottle of vodka perfectly.

Step 3: Place jar with vodka and Buddha’s hand zest into a cool, dark place. Let sit for at least 2 weeks. Come back and we’ll talk about the rest of the process in a few weeks…

10 Responses to “Part 1: Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka”
  1. eatgreek.net writes:

    I think this must be very tasty! nice idea… :-)

  2. Veronica Gantley writes:

    This looks great! It reminds me of the Lemoncello I make.

  3. C&C Cakery writes:

    I have been craving limoncello for a long time – I really can’t wait to see the next few steps!

  4. Danica writes:

    Wait a minute! If it’s all peel and no juice, how is it a fruit? This is weird! Can you eat it? I mean, I know people candy it, but you can’t just plain eat it, right?

    Crazy!

  5. Magic of Spice writes:

    Sounds delicious…I have never seen this fruit before and now I am dying to get my hands on one :)
    Happy 2011!

  6. Stephanie writes:

    Veronica – thanks for commenting! I checked out your limoncello post and will use some of your tips.
    Danica – I tried tasting some to make sure the pith tasted ok. It wasn’t something you’d want to eat raw – not sweet, not a lot of flavor. Candied would probably be awesome though.

  7. Part 2: Homemade Limoncello | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    [...] Back in December I found Buddha’s hand, a fragrant and oddly shaped citron that is all zest. I grated it up and placed it in a jar filled with a bottle of vodka. It sat in a dark, cool closet for around 7 weeks, when I took it out to find a strongly flavored citron vodka. [...]

  8. Strawberry Mojitos (Plus a Food Processor Giveaway!) | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    [...] you want more cocktail inspiration, check out my recipes for homemade Irish cream, citron vodka, and limoncello. I also made cupcakes out of the homemade liquors too (of course);  Irish coffee [...]

  9. John W writes:

    I think this will help my hand. I am eating some right now. It is delicious. We will make teas, and marmalade, put some in my mineral water, and use the zest in cooking.

  10. John W writes:

    Oh wow, just cook slices of it in boiling water with a bit of sugar. The fruit is so sweet, so fine, like eating warm pears, but better. Having the cooled product on toast with chevre for breakfast. What a wonderful fruit.

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