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Mar 3, 2008 08:23 AM

Kaffir Lime Leaves

So I got my wife a signed copy of Padma Lakshmi's new book "Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet" which has led to several meals, but some of the ingredients are hard to find. The one that is giving her more trouble than expected are the kaffir lime leaves. She's been to several Indian markets with no success, so before calling them all up and actually driving around (with the possibility of not finding them once I actually get to the market), I figured I'd be lazy and see if anyone used them in their cooking and had an easy source for them. I would rather buy them at a shop than relying on the internet. Thanks in advance for any input.

Btw, so far the dishes are quite delicious and fairly healthy (ie on the lighter side), though she does seem to enjoy fried food and (rather comically in her 4 page confession) bacon.

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  1. Try Oriental markets. Kaffir lime leaves are used a lot in Thai cooking and most Asian markets will carry them. We get ours at an Asian Market on W Hillsboro Blvd just east of Powerline but we've seen them elsewhere as well. They freeze well so we usually buy extra to have them on hand.

    4 Replies
    1. re: RickL

      good idea. hadn't shifted to that thought yet (which I should have from the get go). Thanks!

      1. re: Icantread

        Agree with rickl. I got a bunch once at an Asian market in Homestead and kept in the freezer for months. Thing is we use them so much, and the smell and flavor of a fresh leaf is so much better than one that's frozen, we bought a small kaffir lime tree from a nursery in Central FLA. It's small, can be grown in a pot, and the leaves are unique looking. Plus it's a tropical plant so it pretty much takes care of itself.

        1. re: lax2mia

          Hi - we're sorry, but discussions about issues with citrus plants/trees are too far afield for us and we've removed a couple of posts on that subject.

          1. re: lax2mia

            This really isn't a tree post but a question about local markets. But lax2mia is definately on to something. What a great idea!

      2. wanted to thank everyone for their input. Was in homestead this past weekend and stopped in Tim's Oriental market and sure enough they had some there in the refrigerated section.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Icantread

          That's where I'd gotten mine. Make sure you freeze some of them since they'll start going bad in the fridge.

        2. Instead of creating a new thread on an existing topic, I thought I would bump this one to bring up the discussion once again. It's been nearly three years since this thread was created and perhaps someone has found a source for kaffir lime leaves (and maybe even the fruit itself) here in Tampa. I've visited several oriental/Viet markets in West Tampa looking for this ingredient that keeps showing up in nearly every Thai recipe I attempt. I've found frozen galangal (small Thai/Viet market on west side of Armenia just south of Waters) but no lime leaves. Anyone else have any luck?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Agent Orange

            Oceanic downtown. In the refrigerated section.

            Din Ho probably has them as well, as well as the market on Fowler near Nebraska.

            I used them for the first time last year, and they make a big difference.

            1. re: andy huse

              Really. I've been to two of those three in the last month looking for them; guess I didn't search thoroughly enough. So they are refrigerated and not frozen then? Do they go bad quickly and what has been your experience freezing them? Thanks a ton; you've given me hope.

              1. re: Agent Orange

                Not sure where you are, but I buy them in a little asian market called My Lan in Dunedin on 580. They keep them refrigerated and sometimes I have to ask for them.

                1. re: Bear1101

                  I'm in North Tampa, a fair jaunt from Dunedin. Good to know there's a source for lime leaves for North Pinellas hounds.

              2. re: andy huse

                Got the leaves at Oceanic. They are in the "vegetarian" section of the freezer near the produce area in the back of the store. They seemed reasonably priced at 19.99/lb; I believe I got about twenty leaves for a buck sixty. Also, I was very pleased to find that Oceanic sells *fresh* galangal. There's going to be some serious feasting going down in the coming days at my house. Thanks Andy.

                1. re: Agent Orange

                  FWIW, I'm in Naples, FL and our Asian grocer sells their kaffir lime leaves from their FREEZER, not their might just ASK...I could not find them at all last time but gracious nice Korean owner Mr. Kim found them tucked away in the back of their freezer.