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I almost killed us, what did I do wrong?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

1.5 inch wild caught salmon steak. In cast iron.

Put in oh, maybe 1 T butter, kaffir lime juice, fresh, no bitter rind. skin side down for a few min, it got crispy,

i turned it over. Gas stove at '3.5'.

Added fresh basil leaves, 2 medium, torn, underneat fish and 1 large, placed on top.

 

Kept cooking with a lid. added some sesame oil. 2 T? the kitchen smelled like essential oil. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. [although I do distill, hadn't today]. It smelled like something I had smelled before but couldn't put my finger on it.

Salted it...started picking at it to make sure it was done all the way, pulling it apart. Added 1 T of capers. some sherry. smell was really strong. But taking the lid off, it dissipated. 

 

added quinoa pasta. decorated plates with fresh basil leaves, served. first bite was horrific. put in mouth, got out of mouth. INSTANT numb of whatever the food touched for both of us.  lips, tongue, roof of mouth, back toward throat. rinsed several times with milk. 

 

the whole house smells like this eo. it's almost like a disinfectant, lemony smell. The aroma is like a blend of lime and 'green', 

 

was it the lime by itself? the basil and lime together? I first smelled it after adding the basil I think. But not positive. 

 

Gonna have a hot dog wrap with cheese. 

post #2 of 14

An allergy perhaps? Tough to say from here. Was the pan clean? Was everything fresh?  Are you sure it was sesame oil? 

Maybe you should talk to your doctor or bring it to the state health department lab so they can test it. 

I really don't know what anyone here could tell you.

post #3 of 14
But you said both of you got numb.
Thats a puzzle. We're not there, dont know
how we can analyze it. Off hand it doesnt sound
like food chemistry gone haywire, sounds more
like accidental chemical contamination.
From what however, eludes me.
The next time you make this, taste taste taste at every
single step......well except raw fish of course.
post #4 of 14

Oh you used pine sol lemon fresh instead of sesame oil.  Happens all the time!

 

But seriously it sounds like you don't even have fundamentals of cooking fish down, what are you doing with so many ingredients and flavors that mostly don't work together?

 

let's recap : 

kaffir lime juice

sesame

basil

capers

sherry

 

You have to pick and choose flavors that work together and have some restraint.  Editing is hard but if you mix all the colors together you get a muddy brown.

 

Other random tips:

-Adding the butter that early it will pretty much go from golden brown to golden black.  

-Sesame oil is also not a high temp cooking oil.   Both of those would be better served as finishing basting at the end.

- Basil - throw it in at the end for some herbiness (unless you were trying to cook it down who knows)

-Salt - season your fish before you start cooking not when it is done


Edited by MillionsKnives - 10/3/16 at 4:14am
post #5 of 14

Are you positive you had fresh basil? Taste one of those leaves and see if it numbs your tongue!

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
 

Are you positive you had fresh basil? Taste one of those leaves and see if it numbs your tongue!


Really? What happens chemically to fresh basil to tin your taste buds?

Or are you thinking it was something ....non-basil-ish?

post #7 of 14

My guess would be the juice. The leaves and the zest of kaffir limes are definitely used in cooking, the juice not so much. The juice shows up in shampoo and rinses.

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post #8 of 14

Immediate oral numbness and tingling, hmmmm, tetrodotoxin which is what the puffer fish (aka fugu) offers.  Not trying to be funny either.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #9 of 14
You just need to taste every part of the dish to
narrow it down to avoid in future.
Hmm, I wonder if my mother in law would like it....
sounds untraceable.......
KIDDING!!! tongue.gif: I love my MiL!



.
post #10 of 14

Possibly not basil... I had weeds in my basil this year that had identical leaves, stalks were red though so I knew what to pull.

post #11 of 14

Kaffir lime juice is being used in a lot of dishes, so don't think it would be that.

The Basil not being Basil, could be an option.

 

I was initially thinking of botulism....

Maybe from the salmon, maybe from spores in the ground that came in contact with the Basil?

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post #12 of 14
I would think Botulism would cause a systemic reaction.
not an exterior organaleptic numbing. I still think this
sounds chemical, not microbial.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, I used all the different ingredients because that's what I do. I never know what will be good until I try. One woman's poison is another woman's best dish. 


The basil was fresh. I am an herbalist and I grow many herbs. I live in Phoenix, I don't think there's any spores here! LOL


Actually on Kaffir lime it's the leaves that are used in cooking, not the limes. It's why I purchased the tree. 

 

The essential oil smell was really strange. I distill essential oils, so getting that aroma from something I put in the pan was too weird. 

 

It was definitely a chemical reaction. 

 

It was the limes. The limes were ready for picking. A friend has made limeade out of these limes and was fine. So I think it was the juice, heated. Plus the basil probably helped.

Of course I washed my hands several time. Later that night I picked up and threw away yellowing limes, putting the green ones in the bowl. I sat down, rubbed my eyes. Same thing as mouth, except this was a burn, no numb

 

The smell permeated the house all night. Once I set the limes outside, the aroma went away. Into the trash they went. And the tree will be coming down. The leaves make a better hydrosol than the lime peels or the limes whole, however I would rather have something edible. I have given the leaves away to several who say they used and loved them, however I have not used them. I use lemongrass. I'm not a citrus person. 

 

If anyone wants leaves for the cost of postage, which would be $6.80 priority mail, I will stuff that box full and send them to you. I'll give you my paypal. It takes 2-3 days depending where you are in the USA. outside the USA, it may be pointless, postage is $34 for the same size and they would undoubtedly be dry. 

post #14 of 14

Have you tried using the leaves?

They don't taste like lemons at all. I definitely wouldn't chop down the tree!

 

The leaves are used most often, but the zest of the limes definitely is used in cooking as well (otherwise I wouldn't be able to buy dried zest in the Thai shop). The juice  is used, but not often.

 

From Wikipedia:

The rind (peel) is commonly used in Lao and Thai curry paste, adding an aromatic, astringent flavor.[10] The zest of the fruit, referred to as combava, is used in creole cuisine to impart flavor in "arranged" (infused) rums and rougails in Martinique, Réunion, and Madagascar. In Cambodia, the entire fruit is crystallized/candied for eating.

 

Check here for more info on kaffir limes: http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/ingredients/klime.html

 

Just another thought: you didn't spray your tree or basil recently with an insecticide, did you?

 

I still find it baffling.......

I use a lot of kaffir limes, both leaves, zest, and juice (although there is hardly any juice in the fruit) and I never experienced any adverse reaction.

If it would just be you, I wouldput it dwn to an allergic reaction, but both of you..... ?

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