The latest installment in our quest to try every weird looking fruit at the grocery store! Aden and I came across this crazy looking thing called a Buddha Hand and had to add it to the cart. But this one was beyond the weirdness of the horned melon and the dragon fruit and we had to do a bit of research before we cut into it because really, we had no idea this time. Look at the thing!
These little culinary adventures have become quite an event in our house. I’m glad my kids are getting so excited about exploring new foods. And I like that they’re ahead of me, because by the time they are adults strange looking things like the Buddha Hand will be old news.
Check out what we did with it:
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Checking out the Buddha Hand
This was about as much as Mona participated in this event because after exclaiming about the weirdness of the Buddha Hand she got distracted by the dog. But Aden and Quinn? They were intrigued!
Octopus Lemon Without Juice
That's kind of what this thing boiled down to. It was like a lemon with fingers, and when you cut it open the scent gets really strong. Quinn absolutely loved the smell.
Chopping It Up!
Aden proceeded to cut the whole thing up into little pieces. The three of us tried a tiny taste of the raw fruit, but it pretty much tasted like lemon peel. No one liked the taste, but we still all liked the smell. (Except Mona who vacated the kitchen with the dog at that point.)
The only real recipe we found online for preparing a Buddha Hand to eat (aside from using it as a zest) was to candy it. So we put two cups of water mixed with two cups of sugar on the stove and boiled it.
After bringing the sugar-water mixed with the Buddha Hand chunks to a boil you let it simmer for 45 minutes. The fruit gets translucent and the water gets thick. (At this point everyone wandered away because waiting is dull.)
This part was interesting. After cooking for 45 minutes we were supposed to drop some of the syrup into a glass of ice water to see if it had reached the 'thread stage.' This was new to me. Apparently the syrup can react like a soft ball or a hard ball, but what we wanted was for it to look like little threads in the water, and it did! (Not a great picture, but it did work.)
Candied Buddha Hand!
After it sits for another half hour you can eat it. It was sticky so my kids and I used forks. I thought it was really pretty. I also thought, how can this go wrong? You should be able to cook pencil erasers in sugar for an hour and make them taste good, right?
This was the first odd thing we've tried that I kind of liked. It was essentially like a candied lemon peel with the texture of a gummy candy, but it was really strong and I really didn't want more than the initial taste. My kids? Major thumbs down. Aden made a really sour face and spent a lot of time swishing her mouth out with water at the sink. Quinn made sure I was clear about his verdict.
So that was our Buddha Hand adventure. It was fun! Tune in next time next time to see what produce my kids reject in the future!