Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kaffir Lime Leaves (Bai Magroot)

Completely indispensible in Thai cooking for their unique citrusy aroma. There is nothing like it so substitution is moot.

The leaves themselves are usually not eaten just added to broths, etc. You will also see instructions for them to be cut into into thin strips and added to Thai curries.

The juice of the limes is used in other contexts but it has a unique overpowering perfume so it must be used sparingly. Squeeze one in a mixer before you make martinis, and watch your guests be delighted all evening long from the subtle elusive aroma.

Traditional Thai curry sauces also call for the zest of the kaffir limes. Sometimes fresh and sometimes dried so you really need both at hand.

Unlike many ingredients, both the leaves and the limes freeze beautifully so the CC always has some in his freezer.


Varsha said...

But where do you get them???
(I mean in Chicago, but hopefully you still know the answer...)

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

The Vietnamese stores on Argyle carry them.

Call them.

Also, if you talk to the Thai restaurant owners in mini-Thai-town (Lincoln Square; Western stop on the Brown line; Western and Lawrence) they will tell you where they buy their ingredients.

Macavity said...

I wanted to grow my own kaffir lime tree on the patio. I had even picked out my favourite sapling. A friend detracted me from making the purchase... turns out one needs a really, really, really large pot...

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

Well, it's a lime TREE so it's not terribly surprising that you need a really large pot.

We've had trees in our apartment. You just need to be committed to hauling it each time you move.