There’s nothing better than limes to pack a tangy punch. While you may not be adventurous enough to eat a lime on its own, this member of the citrus family complements a wide range of ingredients. From a cold, creamy drink to a savory soup, these four recipes highlight the way limes are used around the world.

Naomi Clegg

Brazilian Lemonade


Don’t let the name of this sweet, creamy concoction fool you—it’s actually made out of limes. Just as appealing, whipping up a pitcher of this refreshing drink takes only a few minutes.


2 limes

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

3 cups water

1 cup ice


Wash the limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends, and slice into 4 wedges.

Place the limes in a blender with the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice. Pulse 5 times.

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large pitcher. Serve over additional ice, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 5 minutes



Elote is a popular Mexican street food and a particularly delicious way to enjoy fresh-off-the-stalk corn. For easier eating, make esquites: cut the corn off the cobs, and put it in bowls with all the toppings.


4 ears corn, shucked

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup unsalted butter

¾ teaspoon ancho chili powder

¼ cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped

½ cup cotija or mild feta cheese

1 lime, cut into wedges


Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Grill the corn until hot and lightly charred on all sides, about 8 minutes. Alternately, boil the corn until tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the mayonnaise, butter, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and cilantro.

When the corn is tender, roll it in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover with the cotija cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon chili powder, and serve with lime wedges.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 20 minutes 

Tom Kha Gai


One of the most-loved Thai dishes of all time, this chicken-coconut soup requires little preparation but is a rich dish intended to be the centerpiece of a meal. Keep the soup at a low temperature to avoid curdling.


2 stalks fresh lemongrass

1-inch piece fresh galangal or gingerroot, sliced

10 fresh kaffir lime leaves

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into 1-inch pieces

½ pound fresh cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered

13.5-ounce can coconut milk

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup lime juice

2 tablespoon fish sauce

Cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced into wedges


Using the back of a knife, lightly bruise the lemongrass. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Slice the galangal.

In a large saucepan, bring the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, and chicken stock to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the broth into a clean saucepan; discard the solids. Add the chicken to the saucepan with the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to slightly below simmering. Add the mushrooms to the broth.

Once the chicken is cooked through (20–25 minutes), add the coconut milk. Stir until heated. Add the cayenne pepper; remove from the heat.

Add the lime juice and fish sauce. Taste and add more if necessary. Top with cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Yield: 8 servings

Total time: 45 minutes

Salad-e Shirazi


This simple salad of fresh vegetables and mint gets a burst of flavor from lime juice. After preparing, refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors meld. Serve with chicken kabobs.


2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

½ cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, combine vegetables.

In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, olive oil, mint, salt, and pepper.

Pour lime juice mixture over vegetables, and toss to mix.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 15 minutes