Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kaffir Lime Leaves

As the years passed and I found myself cooking more and more Thai food (my kids and hubby are part Thai), I've discovered that I could not live without kaffir lime leaves. Good thing mother-in-law has a huge tree in her front yard, so I never have to buy them, as they're not exactly cheap.

My mother-in-law gave us a tree when we bought our first home, but once I pruned it, it started producing leaves that were definitely not of the kaffir lime. It must have been a graft and the tree must have reverted back to producing regular citrus leaves or something. Anyways last year, I gave my mom a tree for her birthday gift to plant in her yard. The tree is coming along nicely.

Kaffir lime leaves are essential in Thai cooking, but it's also widely used in other Asian cuisines. My mom uses them in her canh chua.

The lime itself has this funny bumpy texture, and the leaves are also interesting. They look like two hearts stuck together, and they have a wonderful aromatic, citrusy scent to them. Interestingly, according to wikipedia, the term kaffir is offensive in some cultures, but I usually refer to these in their Vietnamese name, la chanh thai (Thai lime leaves) in our family anyways.

This post is a teaser. Tomorrow I will post my family's Thai fish cake recipe, using kaffir lime leaves, of course.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

We made salmon cakes using finely chopped kaffir lime leaves. the are fantastically fragrant!

shavedicesundays said...

nate and annie, I love the fragrance of the leaves. I saw your salmon cake recipe on your blog. They look yummy and your presentation was very creative.

Food For Tots said...

I used kaffir lime leaves to make minced meat patties today. The fragrance of the leaves enhance the taste of the patties. Luv it so much! My new discovery!

shavedicesundays said...

Food for Tots, that's an interesting creation. Sounds yummy and a great idea.