Since I'm on this tangent about acquired tastes ie. weird food combinations, it seemed only fitting to post my recipe for chanh muoi (Vietnamese salty lemonade). It's on the menu at most Vietnamese restaurants so if I've now stirred your curiosity, you can order it the next time you go. You can also find jars of this at the Asian grocery store. Since I'm blessed with an uncle who has a Meyer lemon tree, you know I had to make my own!
First the recipe for How to Preserve Lemons, you'll need:
A leftover cleaned jar of spaghetti sauce or whatever large jar you have on hand. (Incidentally, does anyone else love Francesco Rinaldi sauce? I sometimes find it on sale at Albertson's for $1 to $1.50. I love that the ingredients list only tomatoes, and whatever other spices or flavorings, but not multi-syllabic unknown preservatives.)
For 2 24-oz jars, you'll need:
Lemons, however many will fit in the jar.
1/4 cup salt
2 cups water
Scrub the lemon rinds clean. These jars are pretty small so you'll probably need to halve or quarter the lemons for them to fit. Pour 2 cups water into a sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup salt and turn the heat to high. Stir to dissolve the salt.
When the salty water boils, pour into the jars and close the lid tightly. Flip the jars upside down and the lid should "pop," thereby sealing the jar.
Leave at room temperature or in a sunny place so the lemons will be pickled.
This step is optional, but my mother believes that it helps eliminate the rind aftertaste. After a day or two, open the jar and drain the water. Again, do the salty water, boiling, sealing thing.
After about a month, these lemons should be properly salty enough for the Vietnamese salty lemonade or any other recipes. Since the lemons are now pickled, you can store them pretty much indefinitely.
This lemonade should be a combination of salty, sour, and sweet flavors. As always, adjust according to your tastes.
Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Lemonade)
a preserved lemon half or so
Seriously? It's lemonade folks! Mash up the lemon (including the rind) in a glass until all the juices run out. I just do this with a spoon. Add water and a spoonful of sugar at a time until you get the flavors you want.
If you want it carbonated, add seltzer water or club soda in place of the water.
My other Vietnamese drinks:
Ca Phe Sua Da / Ca Phe Sua Nong (Vietnamese Milk Coffee Iced / Vietnamese Milk Coffee Hot)
Rau Ma (Vietnamese Pennywort Juice)
Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Shake)
Sinh To Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Shake)
Sinh To Dam (Vietnamese Aloe Vera Shake)
Soda Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Preserved Plum Drink)
Tra Atiso (Vietnamese Artichoke Tea)
Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea)