Friday, October 22, 2010

Buddha's Hand Syrup 佛手柑茶酱

Buddha's hand 佛手柑 is a type of citrus that has no flesh. It only has pith and rind. I bought this at Ipoh's Jusco out of curiosity, hoping that I can make some dessert out of it.

When I got home, I start googling around, some made souffle, some made creme brulee, some sliced it for salad, some made marmalade with it.
I read about it saying that the pith is not bitter unlike other citruses, which is why it's sliced for salads and that the rind is super fragrant.
Unfortunately, mine is not super fragrant, but just so so only.
So I scraped the thought of baking directly with it.

Then I decided to try cooking the pith and rind, seeing what sort of taste I will get with this ugly fruit, that looks more like monsters fingers to me...

Here's my experiment..... trying to make something like those Korean Citron syrups that you can get in jars.

Because this funny citrus is rather light, I just measured everything with volume, because I was using a spring scale at this time, and light stuff is hard to be precise with spring scales. Anyway, no need to be too on the dot.

I added in salt the last minute, because I found the syrup to be on the bitter side (Now, who said buddha's hand is not bitter?? Come and talk to me!!!!), some korean citron syrups are bitter too, but not all brands are. So, to counter that bitterness, I added in some salt. I then kept the syrup for 2 weeks before consuming, and truly, all the bitterness is gone.

Buddha's Hand Syrup
Recipe source : Wendyywy

1/2 cup packed tight buddha's hand, cut into matchstick sizes
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

1. Put water and buddha's hand into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Lower heat to a simmer and boil until the buddha's hand seems wilted.
3. Put in salt and sugar and cook until the buddha's hand turn transparent.
4. Put the cooked syrup mixture into a clean jar and seal for 2 weeks before consuming.

To serve,
Put a tablespoon of the syrup and pour in hot water. Let it steep for a while before drinking.

I find that the sugar and water content can be doubled to get more syrup, because I could steep the buddha's hand syrup few times, and I still get fragrance in the infusion. The sweetness may be gone with the extra infusions, but the fragrance.. gosh, you should try some of it.


  1. Oh cool...Those are hard to find around here, but I have seen them...never used them.

  2. Never seen or use Buddha's hand before...look very cooling for hot humid weather...nice.

  3. I love Buddha's hand...almost bought it the last time I saw it but didn't (now I regret it D=).
    The syrup looks great. Definitely something to try. Thanks for sharing.

  4. wor, you have invented with a new recipe, sound really interesting, i never buy this Buddha's hand before.

  5. This look very good... i love the preserved kum kum kind. Will try this out if i am able to get hold of this.


  6. Wow...i love this drink so much :-)

    Wendy, i have awarded you an award...because i love ur blog so much...pls redeem it ok. See ya.

  7. wow, this is one strange fruit. Buddha's Hand - I have heard of the term in Chinese Foshougan(buddha hand orange)- but I have always thought it is bergamont or something. But this fruit definitely does not look like bergamont... Bet the drink is really refreshing.

  8. Is the wrapped jar of syrup for me? ;P
    It's very innovative of you to come up with something beautiful out of something 'ugly'!

  9. Bo,
    I heard it's pretty pricey there too :)

    Yeah, it's not commonly found. If u add ice to the infusion it feel cooling, but if u drink it warm, it's soothing to the throat.

    when I bought it, I was totally ignorant about what to do with it too. Don't miss out if you ever see it around again :)

    frankly, I don't know what else to do with it, besides making it into syrup. If you're not into citron teas, don't try this.

    Weirdly this is not as kum as those salted calamansi drinks, just very fragrant.

    Yin Mun-Moon,
    Thanks for the award, it's the thought that counts

    Taste somewhat similar to korean citron teas.

    It wasn't cheap, at RM6.50 for that ugly fruit, better not waste it.
    That's the only jar and my MIL has finished it :)

  10. I have never tried this fruit before :) it looks like aloe vera after you cooked it :0 you have a good job to make it into syrup. I guess it must be good for health since it has a bitterish taste like the bitter gourd is good for purifying the blood in our system .

    Thanks for this sharing :)

  11. This is the first time I come across this fruit, the shape is very special, next time I will look out for this in Jusco, thanks for sharing!

  12. I've only had this once! hmm I don't remember it being bitter, maybe "kam"?

  13. Elin,
    Before it was transparent, it looked like regular citrus pith.
    The bitterish taste is like orange pith, most citruses peel taste bitter :)
    This can be found at the veggie vendor at Jusco.

    I'm not sure if other Juscos will have this, as this is sold by a vendor that rented a space in Ipoh's Jusco.

  14. pigpigscorner,
    I don't think anyone has made a tea syrup out of this before (not that I can google of), except regular citron.
    Buddha's hand is usually candied as tidbits.
    After I added in the salt, let it sit for 2 weeks, the bitterness was gone.
    I've tasted 2 Korean citron teas before, one was bitter, one wasn't. But my sensitivity to bitterness is rather high. What might be bitter to me, might not be bitter to others, just like Gwai Ling Gou.

  15. Oh, I didn't know that this fruit can be eaten!

  16. pete,
    I think ppl think this fruit cannot be eaten is that there is no flesh inside.

  17. i love preserved buddha hand fruit:D it must be soothing as a drink..

  18. Dude, that thing is freaking me out a little. Now you managed to make something wondeful but the actual hand.....shivers.

  19. My aunt introduced me Buddha hand fruit snack and I love it. Seeing in syrup form is my first time. Will keep my eyes open the next supermarket trip.

  20. WyYv,
    Yeah, nice for sorethroat :)

    LOL. Freaking ugly, right??

    Wish u luck on spotting some.

  21. A jar full of golden syrup, my first time coming across this fruit.

  22. I nvr try Buddha's hand b4, wondering how it taste...

  23. Jess,
    Taste like those korean citron tea lor, but I think those have more sugar.

  24. HKChoo,
    True, not easy to see this fruit.

  25. Finally get to see your entry on this one. I think I'll like this but I don't remember seeing this fruit being sold here. I like to eat the preserved ones from Msia, always "place order" whenever my parents visit Msia.

  26. Blessed Homemaker,
    Yeah, it's finally posted :)
    Oh you like preserved fruits, somehow I don't really look forward to any, not even when preggie last time.


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