I’m a little bit obsessed with citrus. I’ve even tried to grow some with limited success: the Meyer lemon tree produced just one delicately floral lemon then promptly died. The kaffir lime bush is no more. The kumquat plant is deceased never to garnish my stove with saumon en papillote again.
I’m still on the lookout for fresh yuzu, I expended much energy a couple of years ago, trying to persuade grapefruit farmers to grow fresh yuzu. This is only available in Japan, but you can get the paste and nowadays the juice here. Even Jamie Oliver talked about it on his show, so yuzu is entering the mainstream as an ingredient.
My latest citrus crush is Bengali lime. For about £1.40 you can buy a large knobbly green lime, in any area, like Whitechapel in London, where Bengalis live and shop. It’s totes amaze balls.
Dig your thumbnail into the flesh and sniff, you are transported to more exotic climes. The scent filled my kitchen when I used it to flavour roast cod. I think it is called ‘Gondhoraj Lebu’ in Bengali. But they might also be called ‘Shatkora’ according to Kavey’s blog. Reading the comments on her blog, it is clear that there is a whole universe of Asian citrus to discover.
I trod carefully at first with the Bengali lime with this simple cod recipe, but then started to add the zest and juice to everything, including jam. The shopkeepers told me that Bengalis just eat the lime raw, with curry, or in a kachumber-like salad, or in a pickle.
Roast cod with Bengali lime, dill and soba noodles.
75ml Olive oil
2 x 200g filet of cod, pinned, skinned
1 Bengali lime, cut into slices
Fresh dill, chopped finely
1 stick of soba noodles (they are sold in bundles)
Preheat the oven to 200cº. On an olive oiled baking tray, place your cod filets, Add a slice of Bengali lime to the top of the fish, put the rest in the baking tin. Season with salt and fresh dill. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare a saucepan of salted boiling water, plunge the soba noodles into the water. Cook for five minutes then drain the noodles into a colander. Rinse with cold water.
Remove the roasted cod from the oven, reserving the liquid.
Plating: twirl the noodles in the centre of the plate, place the piece of cod on top. Ladle some of the bengali lime flavoured olive oil (the cooking juice) around the fish and noodles.