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Kaffir Lime Leaves

  • m

Apart from putting Kaffir lime leaves in thai green curries or soups, what else can you do with them?

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  1. b
    babette feasts

    I use them to add a little something extra to lime/lemon sorbets/sherbets. Also good with watermelon, cucumber. I put a few leaves in the blender with some of the simple syrup to be used, blend well to impart flavor, then strain out the fibrous bits.

    1. Ming Tsao (sp?) of 'Simply Ming' makes a Kaffir Lime Leaf/Kecap/Soy reduced sauce that he says is quite the hit at his restaurant. I haven't made it yet, but it looked like it would be amazing! Maybe his website will have it, probably one of cookbooks does.

      1. i use them for marinating fish - especially tuna before grilling. my favorite thing is to food process ginger and carrots, put them in cheesecloth, squeeze the juice out, use that to marinate the fish with a little chopped garlic, salt and pepper and then yes....kaffir lime leaves. a dollop of honey is optional.....marinate for a half hour minimum and then grill the fish 3-4 minutes each side. of course don't eat the leaves but do leave them on while grilling.

        1 Reply
        1. re: djk

          and don't forget to add lemon to the finished product - just because i
          stupidly didn't include it!

          1. re: thinks too much

            I bet they're great in G&Ts -- do you put them in whole or cut?

            1. re: orangewasabi

              I use them both as a flavoring and garnish, so I bruise them to release more oils and put them in whole.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                I read on-line somewhere last night that the fruit is inedible but has great insecticide properties!

              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                Hot damn! Thanks for posting this...just found some frozen kaffir lime leaves at the Asian market that I love going to and am dying to try a recipe calling for them...will try this tonight!

                1. re: Val

                  Glad I could help! Report back -- I was thinking of making this tomorrow night!

                2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                  I made this last night, and it was delicious--super spicy, though. I'd suggest starting with fewer chilis (they recommended 12-20) and working your way up (or not, depending.)

                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                    Yes, it is spicy...we don't have the Thai chilis here but I used one enormous jalapeno with all of the seeds and like I said, it was mighty hot but I would use that same size jalapeno again for us. Can't imagine using all those chilis but then again, have not ever had Thai chilis before. Sons just loved this dish and I will try it with shrimp pretty soon. Had a small amount of it for leftover lunch here in the offic and boss said "What is that aroma???" Gave her the recipe.

                3. oh, how i long for kaffir lime leaves. is there anywhere to order online? i can only find them in asian markets and even those barely carry them... i am in mpls mn.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: lollya

                    Lollya, I was just reading about Indonesian cuisine at epicurious and the article suggested www.templeofthai.com for a website to order the kaffir lime leaves from, if it's any help.

                    1. re: Val

                      Many thanks Val,
                      I checked and although they have Kaffir Lime Peel, they do not seem to carry the leaves. Wonder what the difference in taste and use is.

                      1. re: lollya

                        WOW!!! Holy smokes, GREAT recipe!!! I used one really big jalapeno with seeds and my nose is still running (sorry)...but really awesome flavors in this dish! Now I see the hype with the kaffir lime leaves...and the fresh basil is also delish! Sons haven't arrived home from work yet; can't wait for them to try this!

                        Lollya, sorry about the website...I should have checked before I posted that they would sell them...I was wondering about the FRUIT of the kaffir lime tree...I mean, is there a fruit? Apparently so, from what you said about kaffir lime peel. Don't you have an Asian market nearby? (Jeez, in WASPY Naples, FL we have one, go figure, but thank God for them! I try to tell everyone who cooks to go there!)

                    2. re: lollya

                      Lollya, get thee at once to United Noodles grocery in Minneapolis - they carry fresh kaffir lime leaves. That's where I always get mine. (They're in the produce aisle, in tiny cellophane bags.)


                      Me, I use kaffir lime leaves to flavor a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heat to disolve sugar, then remove from heat and add 8-10 leaves and let steep for an hour or so). I use the syrup to make a "Kaffir Lime Drop" cocktail with vodka and fresh lime juice. The syrup is also yummy in limeade or lemonade.


                        1. re: lollya

                          Ooops - perhaps I've steered you astray. I was at United Noodle this afternoon, and they were OUT of kaffir lime leaves.

                          I didn't ask if they had any in the back, because I couldn't find any staff except a very busy checkout person.

                          So I would definitely call before heading over there - ask for "Lime Leaves" (that's how they're labeled on the shelf).


                        2. re: lollya

                          what's wrong with the asian markets? Yes, the have them there, and they are cheap. But also try te MPLS coops. They usually have them. I just bought some at United Noodle, more than enough, and it was 93 cents.

                          1. re: FishMPLS

                            there is absolutely nothing wrong with asian markets, i just moved to the north side of the cities (grew up in the south) so i have no idea where one is or how to get there. I think this united noodles is close by though - i will call and get directions.

                        3. the leaves keep quite well frozen, so no need to use them all up quickly.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: alyssap99

                            thanks for the tip, i didn't know this either!

                          2. Add them to a pot of rice as you cook it.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: zebcook

                              I was about to suggest the same thing. They add a lovely favour to the rice!

                            2. I've infused the cream for creme brulee with kaffir lime leaves. Yum! My Mexican mother-in-law and a couple of friends were overjoyed to find the leaves at my house because they have fond memories of making a hot drink out of them with canela and sugar (nothing else).
                              I always add them to coconut milk-based rice. My one staple "convenience" food is the Indonesian packets for coconut rice (about fat-free compared to using the real stuff!), but I add salt and strips of lime leaves while it cooks. Delicious with satay chicken.
                              Also, if kept whole and unwashed, kaffir lime leaves retain their flavor when frozen better than any other fresh food I can think of. I fold up little packs of 5-6 leaves tightly in foil, throw them all in a baggie in the freezer, and pull out a single packet when I need it. They lose just a bit of color, but the fresh flavor remains.