Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Leaves grow on thorny, bushy trees called the kaffir or makrut lime. The plant produces small, pear-shaped citrus fruit with bright green, bumpy, wrinkled skin, and a highly acidic, astringent juice.
The leaves of the tree are the most prized for their floral scent and retain a strong essence of lemon and lime flavors. They have a unique doubled shape that looks like two leaves joined end-to-end. The attractive jade-green leaves have a clean, fresh, and slightly floral aroma and impart a distinctive citrus taste to any dish.
The leaves are generally inedible and, like lemongrass stalks or cinnamon sticks, are fished out of soups and curries before serving.
Makrut (Kaffir) lime leaves are indispensable in Thai cooking, from soups and salads to curries and stir-fried dishes. They are also widely used in Indonesian cuisine. Their exotic aroma permeates and enhances all other seasonings in a way that cannot be achieved through substituting other citrus leaves. Makrut (Kaffir) lime leaves are often used in combination with lemongrass, galangal, ginger, basil, cilantro and chiles. Being quite thick, the fresh leaves must be cut extremely fine to be edible, while dried leaves are best used for infusing long-cooked recipes from which the whole leaves can be removed before serving.
Fry in a bit of oil for a fragrant kaffir oil to be used to finish salads or soups. Kaffir lime leaves can also be steeped in milk that can then be used in fragrant puddings and custards.
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- Add one-of-a-kind sweet, citrus flavor to authentic Thai and Laotian dishes such as tom yum soup, , curry, salads, stir-fry, and noodle dishes
- Use as a substitute for bay leaf for brighter, sweeter broths, soups and stews
- Use to flavor marinades, cooked rice and syrups for desserts or beverages
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