Unless you’re in another part of the world, it’s rare to discover “new” fruits and vegetables, but this is one you’re going to love to play with.
Finger limes are a unique fruit that contains little pearls of citrus “caviar.” They’re bright and tasty and pop in your mouth like a beautiful Beluga.
You likely won’t find these in your supermarket, but some Asian markets in the area carry them, and they can be ordered online.
⅓ cup fish sauce
¼ cup dark, pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, finely diced (3/4 cup)
1-2 small red chilies, minced (1/3 cup)
3 small garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
4 1-inch thick boneless pork chops
⅓ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
3 finger limes
8 to 9 ounces matcha noodles (or your favorite noodle)
Whisk the fish sauce, syrup, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the shallots, chilies and garlic. Transfer 2 tablespoons liquid to a large shallow dish and add the pork. Turn to evenly coat and let stand until ready to cook.
Stir the lime juice into the sauce in the bowl.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom.
Add the pork and cook, turning once, until seared and just rosy in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let stand.
Put the noodles in the boiling water, stir well, and lightly boil for about 5 minutes. Drain very well, then transfer to the sauce in the bowl, saving a little for the top of the chops. Toss until evenly coated.
Cut the pork into thin slices and add to the top of noodles with any accumulated juices. Slice open the finger limes lengthwise and gently squeeze the fruits to empty the little pearls onto the top of the pork chops.
I started experimenting with these finger limes in cocktails, thinking I was so original. Hardly.
Turns out I’m late to the party. They’re a bit pricey for every day, but this “caviar” goes exceptionally well with gin and cucumbers or cucumber mixer, if you have it.
If you’re tempted to take the occasional sip here and there, give this a try just for fun.