The lime leaves add a unique and delicious flavour

The lime leaves add a unique and delicious flavour


500g white sugar

500ml coconut vinegar

500ml water

200g fresh ginger, finely julienned

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

2 large peeled green hard paw paw, white pearls inside removed and

Muslin bag with 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp whole cloves, 2
tbsp white peppercorns, 2 cinnamon sticks

6 whole kaffir lime leaves

6 x 500 ml sterilized jars and lids


To a large pot, add the water, vinegar, sugar & muslin spice bag. Bring to
the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic & paw paw. Bring back to the boil and then turn heat
down to simmer for 1 hour, making sure the paw paw is translucent.

Have sterilised jars ready, and hot fill your jars with the cooked hot
relish. Add a lime leaf to each jar and hot fill with the cooked hot relish,
lid immediately, heat seal in a steam oven at 120’C for 10 minutes.

Label and store in a cool dark place.

This relish is ready to use one month after making, and shelf life is
approximate 12 months.

Keep opened jar in refrigeration.

The story behind the recipe 

This recipe is from Bernadette Kennealy from Lane Cove's Bern the Chef. It is Polynesian influenced but Bern adds her two favourite ingredients - lime leaves and coconut vinegar (available from Asian food stores). Bern serves this relish with roasted pork belly, baked kurobuta ham, or with coconut poached snapper and is a client favourite. The relish is pale, straw-coloured and translucent. The scents of sweet coconut vinegar, ginger and coriander seed make it special.  Bern says the kaffir lime leaf is special and can add to many dishes. She does a crop swap with a caterer friend who lives locally and who gives her the leaves in exchange for teaching wisdoms.  this isn’t original, but I like the extra taste it adds to the relish. While this is not a recipe handed down over generations, Bern says it reflects her approach to Australia - an Irish Australian who is open to the myriad of tastes and flavours in abundance. The dish also has sustainable cred as it is vegan, ingredients are sourced locally and there is also limited food waste as the recipe uses all of the fruit except the peel and the seeds. Any discarded parts can go to compost. To contact Bern, go to: