An unusual fruit that looks like a contorted hand with long fingers, Buddha’s hand, also known as bushukan in Japanese or fingered citron, is a fragrant citrus whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections. It has a thick peel and only a small amount of acidic flesh and is juiceless and sometimes seedless.The origin of Buddha’s hand can be traced back to Northeastern India or China. The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples.
As a citron, Buddha’s hand has an exceptionally high amount of vitamin C and can be preventative and cure for scurvy. It can also help treat yellow fever, pneumonia, flu and chest colds. In China citron seeds are ground and taken as a digestive cleanser and to aid digestion. Moreover, citron contains flavonoids and antioxidants that can help prevent the oxidative damage from free radicals.
The peel of the Buddha’s hand is often candied. In Western cooking, it is often used for its zest. The inner white pith is not bitter, so the fingers may be cut off and then longitudinally sliced, peel, pith, and all, and used in salads or as a garnish.
Buddha’s hand is now cultivated in tropical locations in California. It is rarely available but can sometimes be found in the larger specialty produce stores. Look for bright yellow citron or yellow-green citron that is firm with no soft spots.
Image by Shu Suehiro available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
Melon Salad With Mint And Buddhas Hand
Honeydew melon – 2 cups, cubed
Buddha’s Hand citron – ½ cup, small dice
Strawberries – ½ cup, hulled
Mint – ½ cup, minced
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
1. Mix all the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
2. Serve at room temperature.
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