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Eat This Word: Buddha's Hand

Jennie Dockser

February 16, 2018


WHAT? An eye-catching citrus fruit. The name, Buddha’s hand, refers to the similarity of the fruit’s shape to that of a praying hand. Because of this, it’s often given as a spiritual gift in Buddhist communities as a token representing luck and prosperity. When the fruit is unripe, the fingers appear to be closed, but when it reaches ripeness, the fingers expand and open up, giving the fruit an almost octopus-like appearance. Also known as the “fingered citron,” Buddha’s hand originally hails from Northern China and India, and is often used like its other citrus cousins to flavor food and alcohol with a sweet and soothing aroma. What separates Buddha’s hand from the other fruits of its kind is that even when ripe, it has no juice or pulp. The fruit is often served candied or baked into a dish as the pith is sweet instead of bitter, requiring less prep before cooking. Bonus: it also makes a stellar centerpiece!

WHERE? Chinese New Year at the Beard House 

WHEN? Friday, February 16, 2018

HOW? Braised Lamb's Neck Mantou with Buddha's Hand Mostarda and Coriander Flowers


Jennie Dockser is the media department intern at the James Beard Foundation. Follow her on Instagram.