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Asian citron juice


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I want to make a dish from David Thompson's "Thai Food" that calls for a couple tablespoons of asian citron juice. The recipe also says you can use mandarin juice.

I've had no luck finding fresh citrons or mandarin oranges in Manhattan's chinatown.

What should I use instead? A little orange juice? Isn't "mandarin juice" orange juice?

Your thoughts, please. I have a couple hours to think about this.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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My mistake, Kaffir Limes are not in fact asian citron. Maybe you could try tangelos, with some tamarind or lime to make it sour?

Citron, Asian

The Asian Citron is a small, green-skinned orange with slightly yellow flesh. The zest has a delicioius fragrance and the juice is quite sour. Mandarin and tangelo, especially if not too ripe, make excellent alternatives.

Lime, Kaffir (fruit and leaves)

The fruit of the Kaffir Lime is knobbly with little juice or zest, but has a strong citrus fragrance flavouring, as have the leaves. The double leaf of the kaffir lime has a delightfully pungent lime-like scent, and is often used finely shredded and added to minced fish or to curries, or left whole and added to food cooked in liquids, including Asian soups. Available fresh, frozen or dried. Fresh leaves are available speciality greengrocers and Asian food stores, and they freeze well in airtight bags. Dried leaves are available from Asian food stores, but can only be added to foods, which are simmered to allow the flavour to be released. The leaves of standard limes or lemons are not suitable as a substitute for Kaffir lime leaves - use the zest of lime or lemon as an acceptable substitute.

From an online Cooking Dictionary

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I just read at the Cook's Thesaurus that tangerines are a variety of mandarin orange. My mind is blown. I had no idea that I'd been eating mandarin oranges all my life.

I should have no trouble finding some fresh tangarines. But please, someone, tell me I'm not making a huge mistake. If a recipe says "mandarin juice," it's really acceptable to squeeze a fresh tangerine?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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I bought a little bottle of "citron" juice at Hong Kong Supermarket (E. Broadway and Allen St.) some months ago. It tasted kind of like yuzu, but not quite as flowery. They might still have it, or you could check Katagiri or one of the East Village Japanese markets for yuzu.

Oh. It's probably too late now. Sorry. :sad:

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Seth -

The citron is also known as an etrog/esrog, which is used on sukkot. They'll be available in Judaica stores in about 10 days (but expensive). I know there's an etrog liqueur on the market (I've got some), but I doubt that would be a viable substitute.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Ian: Do you actually find kaffir limes in Chi-town? You are very fortunate. I don't think any of the Thai stores in Manhattan's Chinatown sell them. They sell Kaffir lime leaves, but ordinary western whole limes, at least that's what I found today.

Suzanne: your advice came late for my dinner tonight, but I'll take a look for the future. I got the impression that Thompson wants you to use fresh, not bottled, juice, but I'm not sure if he really says this. I'll have to check tomorrow. The tangerine juice worked very well with the dish, in any event.

Bloviatrix: is the etrog citron the same as the "asian" citron, which is actually a green bitter orange? I have no idea myself.

Thanks everyone for your input.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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i thought that buddha's hand was also called citron?!

also, if you use yuzu juice, make sure you buy the bottle WITHOUT salt. the added salt is very overpowering and destroys any sort of fresh flavor you might get from a bottled product (which is usually decent).

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The first thing that came to my mind, when stumbling onto this thread, was kalamansi- a variety of citrus originating from the Phillipines. The best summation I could quickly find is here. I've yet to find and use it fresh. I source a flash-frozen product from the French company Boiron. The flavor and aroma is indeed lime-y, but way more complex than a simple 'western' lime.

alana- 'citron' usually refers to those species of fruit with thick rinds and little to no 'pulp' or juice, of which Buddha's Hand is a good example (can't wait for those to appear in the next couple of months!). Although citron and citron vert, in French, translate to lemon and lime, which can admittedly confuse things a bit.

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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don't know what citron juice is.

but don't use kaffir lime juice. the zest is used (don't think I've seen that in the US) along with the leaves.

the juice may be edible, but apparently it's usually used as a cleaning fluid. according to this site it's used for stains; one person told me not to eat it, but it was used for dandruff.

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I just read at the Cook's Thesaurus that tangerines are a variety of mandarin orange.  My mind is blown.  I had no idea that I'd been eating mandarin oranges all my life.

I should have no trouble finding some fresh tangarines.  But please, someone, tell me I'm not making a huge mistake.  If a recipe says "mandarin juice," it's really acceptable to squeeze a fresh tangerine?

Mandarin/Tangarine are different things entirely from oranges. Tangarine/Mandarin are Citrus reticulata, Sweet Oranges are Citrus sinensis, Sour/Seville oranges are Citrus aurantium and Citrons/Cedro are Citrus medica.

With in each citrus species there are many variants. Hence many Tangarine/Mandarin types. The also hydridize quite well, so while Eureka lemons are a type of lemon, Meyer Lemons are a hybrid (naturally occuring) between a Lemon and a Mandarin/Tangarine.

'Citron' is a name often given to any weird yellowish Citrus fruit, not sure what 'Asian Citron' is, I will look it up and get back to you.

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calamansi is available fresh here in hawaii. they are really cute, tiny tangerine-like fruit. must be a pain to juice!!! like trying to juice kumquats :wacko:

from what i know mb7o is right about using kaffir lime juice...DON'T

what about pommelo? that's certainly a wierd yellowish citrus fruit! we can have a whole thread on citrus :biggrin:

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Pommelo's are the ancestors of grapefruit. They vary quite a bit and from what people have said on eG, most of the ones avalible in the USA are from Israel and these are often not great (Or an I thinking of melons).

I would use a mixture of tangarine and pink grapefruit juice. It may not be authentic, but it should taste pretty good.

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why you would be thinking of "melons" on eGullet is beyond me :laugh:

i love pommelos! my mom has two trees with two distinctly different tasting fruits. one produces the typical (although sweeter and better than most grocery store varieties i've had) pommelo, huge with very thick skin, a little dry and of yellow flesh. the other tree has smaller, thinner skinned, juicier pulp sacs and a decidedly floral aroma not unlike a blend of yuzu/meyer lemon/lime/calamansi (complex :smile: ).

our neighbors have some with pink flesh, some very tart...they run the gamut. i love them!!!

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The recipe did call for Kaffir lime juice.

But it also said ordinary lime juice would suffice. So that's what I used. And tangerine juice. And it was very tasty.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Sethg,

Yes, I really can find Kaffir Limes in Chicago (Argyle & Clark, south of Bale for the Heartlanders). Most often I find them frozen, but most recently I bought both the fruit and leaves fresh. I tasted the juice too - oof. Weird, sour little fruit. I can imagine it as being that certain something in an excellent dish though.

Which recipe are you making? I just got Thai Food recently (and Hot, Sour, Salty Sweet); I hardly know where to begin.

Ian

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I'm in the same predicament-- last night was the first time I cooked from the book.

The question that began this thread arose from the Kaffir Lime Juice Dressing with Grilled Prawns recipe on page 218. Although I had some difficulty shelling my shrimp after they were cooked, I thought the dish was great. Next time I'd probably just poach the shrimp. But if you have a grill, you might want to go for it. I used the broiler in my oven, which may have contributed to my difficulties.

I also made the Red Duck Curry, from page 312. This I had less success with. I discussed this a bit on the dinner thread. (Scroll down the page-- it's an entry from late last night.) I don't think I'd make it again. Even if I got my paste hotter, I didn't find the duck/coconut combination as appealing as I thought I would, and my wife pronounced it "gross."

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Bloviatrix:  is the etrog citron the same as the "asian" citron, which is actually a green bitter orange?  I have no idea myself.

I've done some searching on the origin and species of the etrog. All I can find is that it originated in the Far East. Not much more.

But it sounds like you've gotten better advice.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I've been looking at that duck red curry myself - I wonder if it just had too much fat in it w/ the duck & coconut milk to let the flavors come through. Sorry about the dried red peppers - maybe you can get dried thai peppers instead of whatever you used (I can get them at my awesome thai grocery store).

Or, there wasn't enough sour/acid in it. I had a great duck and pineapple curry a month ago (at Thai Super Chef in Chicago) - I bet the acid & sweetness of the pineapple balanced out the duck and coconut.

Just a thought - last time I made a coconut curry I accidentally halved the amount of coconut milk in it. But when I tasted it it was perfect, and left it out. I have made lousy curry though - by adding too much coconut milk - thick, soggy stuff.

Making curry paste always takes way longer to make than I allow time for. And the blender problem always, always screws things up, although adding some water to makes it work somewhat better. It does keep for three months though - I'll make up a double or triple batch and keep it in the fridge for quick meals.

I'm looking forward to trying a recipe in that book - although I now have some trepidation after how yours turned out. Hopefully that was the only bad recipe in the book.

Ian

Edit: doing double or triple batches can also make it easier to make in a food processor.

Edited by ianeccleston (log)
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Don't let my experience dissuade you, Ian. I think much of the trouble may have come from my choice of coconut milk. You seem more experienced with Thai cooking than I am, so I'm sure you know there are numerous fresh, canned and frozen options. When I've made curries in the past, I've had better luck with the frozen milk than the canned-- the frozen stuff thaws in an afternoon to a thicker milk that's got a richer, more fresh-feeling texture than the canned.

This time I went with a frozen milk I hadn't used before, and it was really very thick when it thawed out. At the time, I thought this was good, but once I'd made the dish I realized it threw everything out of whack.

And the chiles were the result of a bad judgment call. I finally used up one of those big bags of dried Thai red chiles, and instead of getting another one, I used some dried red chiles I got at a local spice store the other day. They just weren't all that hot.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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i thought that buddha's hand was also called citron?!

also, if you use yuzu juice, make sure you buy the bottle WITHOUT salt.  the added salt is very overpowering and destroys any sort of fresh flavor you might get from a bottled product (which is usually decent).

Would that I had had egullet around to provide such advice five months ago: I could have saved myself quite a bit of work, not to mention the experience of one of the most horrible tastes I have ever encountered. :blink:

As a follow-on to this most excellent piece of advice, let me suggest tasting your yuzu juice before pouring it willy-nilly into your other ingredients, so that you can be 100% certain that you have not accidentally acquired the salted variety.

Does anyone have any idea what one does with salted yuzu juice? I still have four bottles of the damn stuff in my fridge, and at $9/per, I'm loathe to simply dump them into the sink.

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I also made the Red Duck Curry, from page 312.  This I had less success with.  I discussed this a bit on the dinner thread.  (Scroll down the page-- it's an entry from late last night.)  I don't think I'd make it again.  Even if I got my paste hotter, I didn't find the duck/coconut combination as appealing as I thought I would, and my wife pronounced it "gross."

I made the aromatic duck curry on page 326 and really liked it, though I found the duck legs a little tough (this could also have been from my choice in legs).

I haven't cooked from this book in a little while, time to pull it out again! :biggrin:

The most incredible recip is on page 358, the salmon and roe salad, I still have dreams about how wonderful this was!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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