The Buddha’s hand always catches my eye as I walk the aisles of the local market. Even when situated among other exotic fruit, this old school citrus seemingly lunges at me from the bin. I finally decided to pick up a couple and see what this quirky fruit has to offer.
What is a Buddha’s hand? The Buddha’s hand is one of the oldest types of citrus. It is native to Asia, specifically the Himalayan region of India and China, where it may be presented as an offering in Buddhist temples. The fruit consists of entirely zest and pith, no pulp or juice.
How do I use a Buddha’s hand? There are several different ways you can use a Buddha’s hand.Think of it as the ultimate lemon zest. One common use for the Buddha’s hand is to candy the peel. The white pith inside the fruit is not bitter like in most other citrus, making it easy to work with. Use it raw in salad dressings or marinades, bake with it, preserve it, or even make waffles! Personally, I can’t wait to make some homemade Buddhacello! READ MORE
I am soba obsessed. This toothsome buckwheat noodle is versatile, delicious and healthy. I normally get my soba fix at a local restaurant in LA that makes them from scratch, but I will often make a cold soba from dried noodles during the summer. It’s one of my pantry staples. This soba salad recipe is one of those recipes that I created from trying to use up items in my fridge and luckily it worked out wonderfully. The star of this dish is really the yuzukosho, which is a Japanese paste made of yuzu– a citrus–and spicy pepper. It is fragrant, spicy, salty and downright delicious. While I usually use it as a side condiment on fish or beef, I made it into a dressing here. It’s subtle, but has such a unique flavor. This recipe makes 4 servings and the great thing about this recipe is that you can add or substitute any ingredient you prefer. Next time I’m going to add seared tofu and edamame!
This unassuming small jar of Japanese seasoning packs a ton of flavor so unique you have to try it to really appreciate it. I always have a jar of it in the fridge and it can be added to so many dishes for that extra citrus zing and heat.
What is yuzukosho? Yuzukosho is a Japanese citrus-chile paste made of yuzu peel, spicy chiles and salt. Yuzu is a green citrus fruit that tastes like a mix between a Meyer lemon and grapefruit. Yuzukosho is fragrant and packs a lot of heat. While you can make this paste from fresh yuzu and chiles, you can buy this pre-made paste in Japanese markets.
How do I use yuzukosho? I’ve seen yuzukosho used on steak, fish, shell fish as a marinade. I personally enjoy adding just a small dab of it to any meat or fish as a condiment. A little goes a long way! You can also add vinegar and other seasonings and use it as a dressing in a soba salad.
Where can I buy yuzukosho? You can find yuzukosho at most Japanese markets. I don’t think it’s widely popular enough to be found just in the ethnic aisle of your local supermarket. However, you can purchase it on Amazon.com here.
I hope everyone is recovering well from the madness of the holiday season. I spent a reenergizing Christmas in northern California in a town called Trinidad. Just being in the presence of the massive cool redwoods and misty ocean breeze almost made me forget that I had eaten way too much porchetta and gingerbead men. The local market Wildberries in Humboldt had this amazing juice bar, which had one of the best juices I’ve had. It was a combination of apples, kale, beets, but best of all, it had cilantro, ginger and a touch of cayenne– just enough cayenne and ginger to build some heat in your belly. It was such a refreshing drink that I replicated it when I got home. This recipe will make enough for about 2 servings but feel free to play with the proportions as I did. It’ll be my go-to juice for a while!
One of my New Year’s resolution is practicing more patience. This applies to all parts of my life, but in the kitchen it means finally taking the time out to utilize my proofing baskets and make more bread at home. I think I’ll start with a San Francisco classic, Tartine bread!
Can you believe it’s almost 2014? What happened?! Growing up, I’m pretty sure I thought that by the time 2014 rolled around we’d all be racing around in our flying cars, à la the Jetsons. Instead, my broken-down ’94 Civic is rusting away in my driveway, collecting spiderwebs. So much for the future. But, despite my car troubles, I have to say it’s been a fabulous year. Mixing up drinks together has been a blast. Thank you so much for visiting the site; for your comments, pins, and other kind words; for making the recipes and sharing them with your loved ones. It means the world to us. I wanted to finish off the year with something simple, seasonal, and festive! These citrus cordials are a perfect match for a little bubbly water or sparkling wine. So whether you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, or just laying low like me, you’ll certainly be celebrating in style!
Photography shot with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital SLR camera. Small in size, enormous in performance.
4 oz dry sparkling wine (or sparkling water)
1/2 oz citrus cordial
1/2 cup blood orange, Cara Cara orange, or grapefruit juice