Inside the Spice Cabinet: Kaffir Lime Leaves

Inside the Spice Cabinet: Kaffir Lime Leaves

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Kelli Foster
Oct 1, 2016
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

These distinctly aromatic leaves, sometimes also referred to as makrut leaves, have a unique lemon-lime flavor that you may have experienced if you've ever eaten Thai food.

What Are Kaffir Lime Leaves?

Taste: Sour
Most Popular Use: Sauces, soups

Native to Southeast Asia, kaffir lime leaves can be used fresh, dried, or even frozen. The deep green leaves are quite tough, with an intense, fresh citrus aroma.

Fresh leaves can keep for several days in the refrigerator, but if you wait too long, they will turn brown. If you don't use the leaves right away, store them in a sealed bag in the freezer or lay them out to air dry and then store them in an airtight spice jar, away from heat and light.

How To Use Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir, or makrut limes leaves are commonly used in soups, sauces, curries, and fish dishes. They're most widely used in Thai cooking, but can also be found in Laotian, Cambodian, and Indonesian cuisines. The leaves can be used whole or thinly sliced to impart flavor, and similar to bay leaves, these tough herbs are typically removed from the dish before eating.

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