The finger lime is a unique and ancient Australian native – citrus australasica – found in the wild around the rainforest areas of SE Queensland and the northern rivers region of New South Wales. Inside the finger lime’s skin are hundreds of juice filled pearls or ‘lime caviar’ that burst in the mouth with a rare and exciting explosion of flavour. The finger lime’s lime caviar is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. The colour varies according to the variety: it can be opaque, yellow, green, pink or red.
Foraged bush food: finger limes
Recipe source: Melissa Moore
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes
What to do:
- Make the paste recipe first (see separate tom yum paste recipe).
- Fill the kettle to the 1.5 litre mark and set it to boil.
- Peel and finely chop the clove of garlic.
- Cut or strip the leaves from the lemongrass (reserving the leaves for another time) and wash the stalks. Chop them into 10cm lengths and bash lightly.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean with a piece of paper towel, then slice them into very thin slices.
- Wash the bok choi, separating out the leaves and cleaning, and slice into thin strips.
- Cut the lime into quarters.
- Pour the hot water into the large saucepan and add the bouillon. Bring back to the boil and stir in all the tom yum paste and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the lemongrass batons and whole kaffir lime leaves.
- Mix in the mushrooms and sliced bok choi. Add the fish sauce if using and a squeeze of the lime quarters and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Wash and spin the coriander and basil dry, then finely chop.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle in the chopped coriander and ladle into bowls.
- Cut the finger limes in half and squeeze out the little globes into bowls as garnish.
Notes: What do finger limes look like? What is inside a finger lime?