Known as an ancient fruit originating from Asia the lemon is one of the most important ingredients in Cambodian cuisine. In the south east asian cuisines, fresh lemon juice makes a great ingredient for flavour as a condiment and also complimentary to salad dressings and dipping sauces. Otherwise, preserved lemon is excellent for cooking. In traditional medicine, Cambodians use preserved lime for treating a dehydrated and an upset stomach. The elders would advise that if you ever get sick and everything becomes tasteless or food can’t stay in your stomach, try the Cambodian preserved lemon drink because you’ll be surprised how much it can assist in curing your sickness. Preserving lemons the Cambodian way is easy to make.
“Growing up as a kid, mum would always have a jar of preserved lemons and make me a drink with it when I have a bad sore throat and cough”
- 8 fresh lemons washed
- ⅓ cup sea salt
- 10 cups water
- In a large pot, add water and salt. Simmer on medium heat until salt is dissolved.
- Add whole lemons and cook on high heat until lemons are turn into a soft yellow texture.
- Drain the whole lemons and keep salted water aside in pot to cool.
- In a sterile jar, insert the lemons and pour salted water over to cover the lemons up to the surface of the jar.
- Close jar with lid and place jar on a surface where it can be exposed to abundant sunlight. Preserve for 2 weeks.
- Try a refreshing Cambodian chicken soup made with preserved lemons by boiling chicken thighs and drumsticks in 3 cups of water and adding 1 tbsp of raw sugar, 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 preserved lemon. Serve with steamed rice.
- Use as a cough/sore throat remedy by mixing a quarter of preserved lemon with boiling water and a generous teaspoon of pure honey.
- Preserved lemons can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.