KAFFIR LIME LEAVES
| Malay: LIMAU PURUT | Thai:
BAI MAKRUT |
Vietnamese: CHANH SAC |
| Indonesian: DAUN JERAK |
Burmese: SHAUK-NU |
Kaffir lime fruits are not true limes, but belongs to a subspecies of the citrus family.
Native to South-east Asia, they have a dark green knobbly skins, quite unlike those of their
cousins, the smooth-skinned limes or lemons. The fruit is not edible. The rind is sometimes
used in cooking, but it is the leaves that are most highly prized. Kaffir limes yield very
little juice, and what there is, is very sour. Thai and Malaysian cooks occasionally use it
to heighten the flavor of dishes with a citrus base. Vietnamese women use the juice as a
The scented bouquet is unmistakably citrus, and
the full lemon flavor is released when the leaves are torn or shredded.
Kaffir lime leaves are synonymous with Thai
cuisine and are also widely used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma. The leaves are
usually torn or finely shredded and used in soups (especially hot and sour soups) and
curries. The finely grated rind is sometimes added to fish or chicken dishes.
Fresh Kaffir limes and leaves are obtainable in
oriental supermarkets and stores. They will keep for several days, or can be frozen.
Freeze-dried Kaffir lime leaves are also available and it is used in much the same way as
bay leaves, and do not need to be soaked in water first. Stored in a sealed container in a
cool dry place, the dried leaves will keep their flavor for only a few months.
Asian Melting Pot
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