I haven’t been posting here much, partly because of time and partly because my shoulder’s not working right and my hand’s in a splint (and this has been going on in various forms for about six months now). Slows me down. However, I promised my daughter I’d explain how I do this, and it is easiest to do so here, then send her the link. But it’s going to be SHORT.
Last year I tried buddha’s hands in both sweet and salty brine, and found I really loved the salty, and the sweet was ok but not that exciting. The sweet basically tasted like candied citron, which is fine, but I’ve never been a big fan of citron. So I’m giving the instructions for the salty, and for the sweet just replace the salty brine with simple syrup (1 cup water, 2 cups sugar).
What I like to do with these is nibble, put them in sandwiches, but mostly use them in salads and sauces where I want a bit of citrus. The buddha’s hand smells like lemon, but without the tartness or sourness. You get that citrus flavor and scent without the acidity of lemons. The pickles are fun by themselves, but the brine is fabulous in cooking and salad dressings.
PICKLED BUDDHA’S HAND
Pull apart the ‘fingers’ of the ‘hand’ and slice crosswise. This time I had about 8 ounces, by weight, from one small buddha’s hand.
I made a ‘salty brine’ by pouring over 2 cups of water, mixing with 3 to 4 tablespoons of salt (depending on how salty you like it). Yes, this is WAY more liquid than you need, but for me the biggest pleasure in the final goodies is as much in the brine as in the ‘pickles’. Then I the whole mess to a boil, and bottled it following usual canning process.
When bottling, I ladle the solids into the jars first and fill with the liquid. I then have enough liquid (lemony salty brine) left for most of another jar.
UPDATED January 11, 2014.
When I made this last year, the brine was a lot saltier, and I liked that. This year, I couldn’t remember what I did, so I searched for salt brines online and modified what I found. It was less salty, but I know I like salt way more than most folk, so I thought I better err on the side of less salt. However, the pickled buddha’s hand jaw started to ferment, so I am back to adding more salt, and doubled what was listed above.