August 2, 2018

Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬

Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬
By Published: 2018-08-02
A sore throat is no fun.  My little girl recently had a sore throat.  Just a sore throat, no runny nose or coughing.  But, thing is, it wouldn't go away.  My little girl doesn't get sick that often, thank goodness, but when she does she's as grumpy as a wee bear bumped out of hibernation.  I tried some homeopathic meds on her, the kind that works wonders for  our usual colds, but it didn't help that much.  Finally, in desperation, we decided to try a Chinese traditional folk remedy for sore throats, a brine preserved lime crushed in some water or, as it is often served in Hong Kong, in a tall cool glass of 7up soda.  We bought a bottle of preserved limes at our local supermarket and tried it at home.  When I say this I'm not exaggerating but, seriously, my girl's sore throat was pretty much not only soothed right away but somehow chased right out of the house.  Wowzers!  I was converted on the spot!  

I decided we needed to have our own supply of these Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬 (also called Chinese Salted Lemons strangely enough, though it's limes that are used)  in the house so that we could indulge ourselves in this deliciously refreshing Chinese Preserved Lime Tonic Drink, or 咸檸 7,  not only so soothing for overworked and sore throats but also a most excellently cooling beverage for general body heatiness, just the thing for these hot summer months!  Plus it's actually wickedly delicious!

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

These preserved limes are actually naturally fermented (any preserve not preserved with vinegar is naturally fermented), which transforms them thru a natural process into a powerhouse of beneficial enzymes, lactic acid and probiotics, which in turn will boost your immunity and improve your gut health.  Plus there is whatever magical thing in these preserved limes that kicks ass on sore throats!  We've grown to understand that eating fermented foods is not only a good idea for family health but a must...so we've been trying to incorporate as many kinds of naturally fermented foods in our diet as possible like kimchi, fermented cheese, miso, chinese preserved beancurd 腐乳, shrimp paste 蝦醬, homemade fermented rice 甜酒釀 etc.  Just our luck that these preserved limes are another naturally fermented food!

And though tis very good for your health, the limes are magically delicious as well...the lime tonic is sooo refreshing...I love it so much!  I'm going to have a jar of these preserved limes in the house all year round.  So easy to make and keeps long too.

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

Use fresh limes.  We used the regular limes but a lot of folks use the smaller aromatic Thai limes.  Wash and dry.

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

This part was really interesting.  The limes needed to get a serious sun tan so we, living in a Hong Kong house which means no balcony or garden, decided to just put the limes next to the window to get the best of whatever summer sun it could get.  Not sure if that was going to work but, lo and behold, my limes, after a half day in the window sun, changed colors to a brownish yellow.  Neat-O!  I think this step does something transformational to the skin because the limes were much more aromatic afterwards.

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

We decided to go with a very simple brine for our preserves.  There are a lot of recipes for preserved limes out there and many of them use very copious amounts of salt but we liked the gentle very aromatic result that we got with our simple brine.  Our preserved limes ended up tasting much like the Chiu Chow style preserved limes, which is exactly what we wanted.

Boil and cool the brine and then pour to cover the limes in a jar.  Makes for a beautiful jar of preserves, that's for sure!  Close jar and it's time to wait for Nature to do its work.  Just be reminded that the limes will let off a wee bit of gas as they are preserved so either your jar needs to be not so tight or you need to open the jar lid every couple of days to let the gas out.  After the first month the gas should be all let out.

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

After brining for a month your limes are ready.  I love preserving foods, if only to see how they transform and to discover the new form of texture and taste that they end up having.  The limes, as you can see, were completely transformed inside and out in texture.  The aroma was sublimely fragrant.  The taste was something completely new and unique yet still with hints of the original tart lime and salt...but more intense somehow when melded together.  Fascinating stuff...

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

When in need of a refreshing throat soothing Chinese Preserved Lime Tonic Drink 咸檸 7, slice open a lime and crush half a lime in the bottom of your glass.  Just bang on it with a chopstick or spoon.  Add a splash of cool water or 7up (it tastes crazy good with 7up, don't know why) and drink it down.  Ahhhhhh.....!  So refreshing and soothing to the whole body!  And it really works (I swear on my bear!) as soothing drink for a sore throats.  Plus you can even cook with preserved limes...my 老公 hubby is just this minute cooking up a yummilicious Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚, a savory treat using our own homemade Chinese Preserved Limes!

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬


Chinese Preserved Limes Recipe 咸檸檬 
Prep time:  Sunning time: 4 hours,  Ferment time:

1 glass jar with cover

Ingredients:
8 limes
4 cups water
3/4 cup salt

Directions:
Heat water in a pot that can fit all limes.  When water is boiled add in limes for a 5 seconds then scoop them out.  Wipe dry and then leave in the sun for 4 hours or until the limes turn a brownish tone.

Meanwhile in a small pot add in water, salt and boil until the salt is completely dissolved.  Cool the water completely.  Add limes into glass jar, then fill up with salt water, making sure to cover the limes completely with brine.  If needed use a small clean and dry saucer to weight the limes down so that they stay submerged.  Cover the jar loosely, being sure to allow for the bit of gas escaping as the limes ferment.  (We used an air tight jar and opened it every couple of days for the lst month to allow gas out.)  The preserved limes will be ready after 1 month.  Limes will keep for months as long as you use clean and dry utensils to remove limes.  Use to cook with or make a refreshing throat soothing tonic drink (recipe below) with your preserved limes.



Chinese Preserved Lime with 7up Tonic Drink Recipe 咸檸 7
(makes one tall glass)  Prep time:    Cook time:

Ingredients:
1/2 preserved lime
1 can 7up soda
ice (optional)

Directions:
Remove lime from preserving jar with a clean and dry utensil.  Slice in half.  Place half lime in a drinking glass.  Use a spoon or chopsticks to crush the lime a bit.  Add in ice if using and fill up with the 7up.  Enjoy your tonic!



More Natural Tonics for Health at The Hong Kong Cookery:

acv, apple cider vinegar, health benefits, Health Drink, homemade, recipe, Rice Vinegar, vinegar mother, 健康, 米醋, 飲品Homemade Rice Vinegar Health Drink 健康米醋飲品

chinese, Herbal, Pear, pear soup, recipe, soothes cough, Soup, Tonic, 川貝, 燉, 糖水, 雪梨Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup 川貝燉雪梨

Cold, di huang, Green Bean, Herbal, itchy, Licorice, Prickly Heat, recipe, Soup, tea, Tonic, 甘草, 生地, 綠豆, 茶, 薏仁Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea 生地綠豆甘草茶

asian pear, chinese, health, Herbal, Pear, recipe, Snow Fungus, snow pear, Soup, sweet, Tonic, 北杏, 湯 apricot kernel, 雪梨, 雪耳Pear & Snow Fungus Tonic Soup 雪梨雪耳湯
Google

6 comments:

  1. hi there. do you leave the jar out in the open or in the fridge for brining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No refrigeration needed, just keep it in a cool area away from any direct sun. ~ellen

      Delete
  2. Outstanding information once again! Thank you=)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi can I leave the jar in fridge during fermentation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes if you like but fermentation will likely take longer. ~ellen

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...