Knowing how to cut a lime for squeezing is a must if you want to preserve every possible drop of the juice and reduce waste. And cutting a lime for squeezing is no rocket science, but there’s one crucial step: You must remove the lime’s core. The core of a lime is a pesky affair when squeezing juice out of the fruit, as it traps much of the liquid in the pulp despite your best efforts and regardless of your grip strength.

Cutting a lime for maximumsqueezability
Cut a lime into cheeks to extract every bit of juice

Cutting a lime around the core leads to what culinary experts call “maximum squeezability,” as the method allows you to extract every zesty drop of juice from the resulting lime cheeks without effort or mess. All you need to slice a lime around the core is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and the lime itself. This technique for slicing a lime around the core is notably useful when preparing Cambodian food, which favors acidic flavors and where lime juice is a staple ingredient.

But slicing a lime into cheeks isn’t the only accepted cutting method for the zesty fruit. There are plenty of dishes and drinks where a lime must be cut into wedges.

In our guide below, we share the most “squeezable” lime-cutting technique, which involves slicing the fruit around the core into cheeks rather than wedges. However, we also explain when a lime wedge is preferable to a cheek in your cooking and cocktail-making efforts.

How to cut a lime for squeezing?

Below are the three easy steps you should follow to cut a lime for squeezing.

  1. Slice the lime lengthwise: Your cut should be slightly off-center when you cut the lime lengthwise, such that you slice away from the core.
    Cut the lime vertically but not right along the core
    Cut the lime vertically but off center
  2. Slice the larger remaining part of the lime lengthwise: Cut the larger of the two resulting pieces lengthwise again, such that you cut is offset from the lime’s core.
    Cut the largest remaining lime part in two
    Cut the larger of the two resulting lime parts in two
  3. Remove the core: Slice the core out of the largest remaining piece with a single cut.
    Remove the lime core
    Remove the core of the lime

Following the three steps above leaves you with three slices of the lime that are ready to be squeezed.

How to cut a lime into wedges?

Follow the four steps below to cut a lime into wedges.

  1. Remove any stickers and wash the lime.
  2. Cut off the ends of the lime.
  3. Cut the lime in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into 3-4 wedges, depending on the size of the lime.
  4. Trim the white pieces off the lime wedges.

The four steps above help you cut a lime into wedges you can use to garnish a variety of drinks and cocktails.

How to remove seeds from a lime?

Remove seeds from a lime using either a small spoon, a citrus reamer, the edge of a knife, or even your fingers once you’ve cut a lime into wedges or cheeks.

Should I cut a lime into wedges or cheeks?

Whether you cut a lime into wedges or cheeks depends on what you’re intending to do with the lime once you’ve cut it. Cut the lime into wedges if you’re making drinks — wedges are easy to stick onto the rim of a glass. However, lime cheeks are the answer if you’re looking to squeeze every possible drop of juice from the fruit, which may be the case if you’re using your limes as a cooking ingredient.

What Cambodian dishes require freshly squeezed lime juice?

The majority of Cambodian sauces require freshly squeezed lime juice.

However, there are plenty of other recipes that make good use of the tangy liquid. For example, the following three iconic Cambodian dishes all include lime juice in one way or another, so you’ll need to slice your limes properly if you’re attempting to cook them.

  • Larb
  • Kuy teav
  • Papaya salad (bok lahong)


  • Thida Koeut

    Thida Koeut, born near Kampot, Cambodia, is the chef and author behind Thida's Kitchen. Immersed in Cambodian gastronomy from childhood, she later managed a renowned Danish-French fusion restaurant in Kampot, mastering European culinary techniques. Her hands-on farming experience deepened her connection to authentic Cambodian ingredients. Now based in New Westminster, British Columbia, Thida seamlessly blends her rich heritage with global flavors, presenting them to the world through her online publication.

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