In the Limelight
One chef. Five cuisines. One funky fruit is the common denominator.
“I stop at nowhere and nothing to find new ingredients,” says Boston über-chef and almost obsessive world traveler Ken Oringer, who this spring opens two restaurants: La Verdad, a taqueria on Lansdowne Street, and KO Prime, a modern steakhouse at the Nine Zero Hotel. But no matter what—or where—he’s cooking, Oringer relies on a few favorite exotic flavors. Look closely and you’ll spot Indian lime pickle, for instance, at his sashimi bar Uni and tapas joint Toro—and the juice of the fragrant calamansi, a Southeast Asian lime, everywhere.
Salmon poached in extra-virgin olive oil
Served with kohlrabi, calamansi-marinated grapefruit, and white asparagus. The twist: “The intense calamansi cuts the grapefruit’s sourness and plays off the fattiness of the fish.” 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, cliorestaurant.com.
Lime vodka, calamansi, ginger, and green tea. The twist: “Exactly what I mean by ‘modern.’ The calamansi allows for a fresh take on a standard.” Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St., Boston, 617-772-0202, koprimeboston.com.
Ceviche de pulpo
Raw octopus marinated in calamansi juice, green apple, yellow pepper juice, and ñora pepper. The twist: “Octopus can be bland. Here, calamansi gives an exotic-flavor punch.” 1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300.
Mexican shrimp cocktail with chili sauce, avocado, pineapple, and calamansi. The twist: “Calamansi makes this classic my own. Mexicans make it with lime and ketchup. I want to be different.” One Lansdowne St., Boston, 617-351-2580.
Shima-aji and aji
Striped jack and horse mackerel sashimi with calamansi gelée. The twist: “Mackerel, let alone horse mackerel, scares people. Calamansi neutralizes the oily taste in a way that a plain lemon or lime can’t.” 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, cliorestaurant.com.