How to zest a lime

Once you learn how to zest a lime, you are equipped with the same skills for zesting any other big citrus fruit. It is actually easier than it seems,  you can get started today.

What you will need

  • Fresh limes
  • Knife or vegetable peeler
  • Microplane
  • Grater
  • Cutting board
  • Clean towel
  • Spoon


1. Prepare the limes

  • Use running water to wash the limes and remove dirt and pesticides from the peel.
  • Pat the limes dry using a clean towel.

2. Use the microplane or grater

  • Put the grater or microplane on the cutting board, in a slanting position.
  • Grate the outer part of the lime carefully.
  • Constantly rotate the lime as you grate to avoid getting to the pith.
  • Keep grating until you get as much orange zest as you need.
  • Spoon up the orange zest from the cutting board.

3. Use a peeler or knife

  • Slide the vegetable peeler or knife on the lime with just the appropriate pressure to take off the peel.
  • Carefully rotate the lime as you peel.


  • Using a peeler or knife is only applicable for limes that are really big. It will be difficult if the limes are small.
  • The peeling method is best for garnishing while the grating method is better for cooking and baking.
  • The stronger lime flavour comes from the finer kind of zest (microplane or grating method).

Useful Links