Preserved Lime

November 10, 2022  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Preserved Lime

Preserved Lime stands as a timeless and essential element in Khmer cuisine, underscoring the lime’s significance in this culinary tradition. While fresh lime juice enhances beverages and desserts, preserved lime takes center stage in cooking, adding a unique depth of flavor. Beyond the kitchen, the Khmer people have long utilized preserved lime for medicinal purposes, particularly for treating dehydration and upset stomachs. A jar of preserved limes is a constant in many households, cherished for its versatility and health benefits.

Creating preserved lime is a straightforward yet time-honored process. Fresh limes are sun-dried for 2 to 3 days, imbuing them with a concentrated essence. In a large pot, salt is dissolved in water, and the limes are cooked until they attain a uniform brownish-yellow hue. The boiled limes are removed, while the salted water is set aside to cool. The dried limes are then placed in a jar or container, and the cooled salted water is poured over them, ensuring they are fully submerged. To keep the limes beneath the surface, bamboo skewers are inserted into the jar, serving as effective weights.

The jar is sealed, and the preserved limes undergo an additional sun-drying process for six more days before they are ready for use. This method not only imparts a distinctive flavor but also ensures a longer shelf life, allowing the preserved lime to be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months. In times of illness, a Khmer preserved lime drink is recommended, promising relief for those who may find their sense of taste compromised or struggle to keep anything down. Preserved Lime thus emerges as a culinary and medicinal cornerstone, embodying the rich cultural and practical facets of Khmer heritage.


12 fresh limes
8 to 10 cups of water enough to cover the limes
4 tablespoon of salt

Directions to make Preserved Lime

  1. Put limes in a basket or colander, and put it out the sun. Sun-dried limes for 2 to 3 days.
  2. In a large pot, mix salt with 6 cups water, cook and stirs till salt dissolved, add limes in salty water, cook limes till it color turns evenly to brownish yellow. Removes boiled limes from the pot, but keep salted water in the pot and set a side till it completed cool down .
  3. Take dried limes and put it in a jar or container, pour boiled salted water over till cover limes. To keep limes stays beneath the surface, take several bamboo skewers, cut it to the length of the jar.
  4. Inserts several bamboo skewers in the jar to presses limes down.
  5. Closed the lid and continue to sun-dried the jar of limes for 6 more days before it ready to use.
  6. Preserved lime can stores in refrigerator up to six months.

Related: Green Mango Relish

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2

Calories Per Serving: 121

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏42g 15%
Total Fat ‏1g 1%
Saturated Fat ‏1g 5%
Dietary Fiber ‏11g 39%
Protein ‏3g 6%
Sodium ‏698mg 30%
Sugars ‏7g 14%


30 min


1 hr




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