My brother gave me some limes the other day. They’d been languishing in my fridge for over a week next to some chillis. Last weekend, I decided to utilise both of these ingredients to make a seasoned salt. The end result turned out well, although I’d next time I’d mix in some hotter chillis for a stronger kick.
It’s not rocket science. I chopped the chilli finely, zested my limes and dried both slowly in a low oven for 50 minutes. Then I blitzed the result in a food processor with sea salt. In hindsight, the chillis needed much more time than the lime zest so I’d dry them separately next time. I’ve adjusted the method below accordingly.
There are so many ways to use up this chilli-lime salt. For dinner that night, I threw a pinch or two over some fried quail. Yes, I am the kind of person who has random quail in her freezer. I spatchcocked the little quails by cutting out the backbone and segmented the birds into quarters. They were marinated simply with mirin, light soy sauce and honey for an hour and then shallow-fried in oil for 3-5 minutes. As soon as I removed the quails from the pan, I squeezed over fresh lime juice and then rolled the pieces in the seasoned salt. A good meal!
- Sprinkled over potato wedges
- Tossed in a wok with freshly fried calamari or tofu
- Peeled quail eggs, warm with soft yolks dipped into little piles of chilli-lime salt
- Grill some prawns and baste with sauce of fresh lime juice, melted butter, garlic and the salt
- Use the chilli-lime salt to rim your margarita glasses
Feeds: Depends on how you use your salt!
Start cooking: 40 minutes before using
- Chillis – use as spicy as you dare!
- Sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 140 C / 280 F. Prepare a baking tray with baking paper or silicon mat.
- Finely chop your chilli – I think a mix of sweet and hot chillis is best and spread in a thin layer on the baking tray.
- Slide the baking tray into the oven. Bake the chopped chilli for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, zest your limes. After 20 minutes of cooking, add the lime zest to the baking tray and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Take out the baking tray at the 50 minute mark and do a touch-test to see if it’s dry and crispy. If not, continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
- Cool the chilli and lime zest and then weigh the result. The ratio of seasoning to salt was 1:4. For example, if you end up with 10 grams of dehydrated chilli-lime, add 40 grams of salt to the total.
- Blitz the chilli-lime and salt in a food processor until fine.
- Use as a seasoning salt for cooking (see suggestions above).