Kaffir lime is a citrus fruit native to tropical Asia, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillipines. The flavour pairs very well with Thai basil, chilli, coriander, galangal, ginger, lemongrass and star anise.
Aside from its many culinary uses, due to its uniquely tart and zesty flavour, kaffir lime leaves are also used in herbal remedies.
Nutritionally they contain small amounts of protein, carbohydrate, a high level of sodium and good levels of beta-carotene.
Kaffir lime leaves can be used whole or finely chopped. The best way to finely slice leaves for cooking is to stack multiple leaves and slice them into very fine slithers. Cutting diagonally is faster and easier. As you slice the leaves you will begin to smell that wonderful fresh aroma. Use the leaves sparingly as they are quite strong and can overpower other flavours. If using whole leaves it is a good idea to remove before serving.
Kaffir lime leaves are sold in punnets in the fresh herb section. Buy dark-green, glossy leaves. Store in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to one week. You can also freeze the leaves for up to a year.
Check out Dr Sue Shepherd’s recipe for Prawn Stir Fry with Pickled Ginger!
Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live. Check with your friendly greengrocer.
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.