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Lime leaves and other Thai staples

I have been having a hard time finding Kaffir Lime Leaves, Galangal and other Thai staples since moving to the Baltimore Metro area. I tried Lotte, Super H Mart and (after reading the suggestions from the ChowHound archives in 2004) the Big Boy's World Market near Lexington Market without success.

I am almost at the point of ordering online through thaigrocer.com, but I would rather find a source nearby since I tend to use these items quite often. Ordering online will get too pricey in a hurry. Any suggestions? Basically, where have people been able to find them in our area lately?


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  1. Somebody had success with a thai market in silver spring recently.

    902 Thayer Ave, Silver Spring, 20910 - (301) 495-2779

    If that fails, there's another thai market in bailey's crossroads that's affiliated with Duangrat's/Rabieng.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chownut

      I go to the place in Silver Spring all the time. It got most or all of the ingredients & staff is very helpful. Kind of a schlep from Baltimore but it's the real deal. Also, good hot food counter for take out or eat in.

      1. re: dan f.

        I like Thai Market (the one listed above, in SS) too. It's a small store, but I've bought all of the above there. It's just off of 29, very easy to find.

    2. There are plenty od places to pick these staples up in the DC area.......Don't know about Baltimore City area.........I do know that the Thai market in SS was carrying both of these items (frozen I believe)..........

      1. I think I saw fresh Kaffir lime leaves the last time I was at Whole Foods.

        1. I used to think my local shop stopped carrying them, but then discovered that many asian groceries keep the lime leaves in the freezer, and I wasn't looking there. Just a thought. I now store mine in the freezer and they really keep best there.

          1. Whole Foods has them, but they're ungodly expensive. Last resort.

            Wegmans has galangal frequently, and they can get Kaffir lime leaves if you ask. I bought like a quarter lb. (which is a lot) the last time and froze them. They also have galangal in a jar, which isn't quite as good but it's convenient.

            Han Ah Rheum has both galangal and Kaffir lime leaves intermittently. You just have to go and hope, and stock up if you find them.

            1. It's only about 3 months from a couple of thai festivals in the metro area. There's a large one north of Wheaton and they sell the trees (we have one). You have to get there very early to get a tree - they go quickly!

              1. If you call 703 820 5775, you'll get the Duangrat's restaurant, and then you ask them for the number of their grocery store - which is up the block from the restaurant - and then you call the grocery store, and if they don't have what you want - the people there are wonderful - they'll tell you where you can find it. Yeah, they're that helpful, but I bet they have everything you might ever want/need for great Thai cooking.

                1. In Baltimore, try Asia Food on York Road, S of the Senator Theater. They have kaffir lime leaves, galangal, etc. -- some of it may be frozen. Great selection all in all and very cheap.

                  1. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who replied.

                    My friend went to Chinatown in Philly this past weekend and brought me back some Galangal, so I finally have that (and enough that is stowed away in the freezer.) No luck on the Lime Leaves there, unfortunately. As for the Lime leaves, I actually tried Whole Foods (Mt. Wash., Inner Harbor and Annap.) but no luck. I was at Hahn a Reum (now called Super H Mart) but apparently they were out. I'll keep trying that. I am going to make another stop to Big Boy's World Grocer (across from Lex. Market) today because when in stopped in last week, they said to come back this week. (eye roll) I'll keep my fingers crossed.

                    I did look in the freezer section of Super H and Lotte. But I will keep looking there as well.

                    The Thai festivals... Those that know when they are coming, can you post a topic here at Chow so we know when they are? I actually have considered getting my own tree (via mail order) but I'd be happy to pick one up locally, given half the chance. :-)

                    Thanks so very much. Who knew this would be so difficult?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gm_smith

                      <em>Usually</em> the festivals are announced. I think if you searched on this board you'd find some posts from the pasts, which may allow you to find the temple's site and get the info.

                      I'm surprised you can't find the galangal or lime leaves frozen though - you're hitting a drought! Most all shops should have those frozen most of the time, so keep trying as you have time, etc.

                      1. re: Dennis S


                        This is the place. They have their 2006 schedule up, but keep looking, it's in the spring

                      1. re: hitachino

                        Ah, thank you. Now I'm really jealous. :-) The good news is, my green thumb husband has taken on the challenge of helping me cultivate one, should I be able to obtain one of these beauties.

                      2. Have you tried the Han-Ah Rheum in Wheaton? I can swear I see them almost everytime I go there, which is like twice to thrice a month. This is located in the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Shorefield Road, just south of Randolph Road

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: anyesha

                          I did go to the Hahn-Ah Rheum (now called Super H mart) in Catonsville, because I live in AA county. This whole exercise was to keep me from having to trek (along with my toddler) into Mont. County. Although, I may have to soon. We are having Thai withdrawal and right now, our toddler is going through a "phase" so we aren't taking him to restaurants we would like to visit again. ;-) Also, apparently all of the grocery stores that carry more Thai staples are in the Wheaton/Silver Spring area so making the trip won't necessarily be a bad idea. I'll just stock up and freeze what I can.

                          1. re: gm_smith

                            Hung Phat in Wheaton, on Fern St., just off of University Blvd., is another good option. Plus they have fresh rice noodles ... mmm!

                        2. FYI, I was in Hunt Valley Wegman's yesterday, and they do have galangal -- $6.99 lb. There was also a basket for Kaffir lime leaves with a price on it, but it was empty. I'm not sure if that means they need to restock from the back of the store or if they're waiting on more inventory, but they have had and apparently will have it. They were $39.99 lb., which sounds expensive but 1/4 lb. will last for months in the freezer.