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What Are Makrut Lime Leaves?

Makrut Lime Leaves

Welcome to Makrut Lime Leaves

(Also Known As Kaffir Lime Leaves)


What are they? Plus their flavors and uses...

The makrut lime leaf (also commonly known as kaffir lime) is sometimes described as the bay leaf of Southeast Asian and Thai cooking. They both include a pointed oval shape, with the makrut’s double-leaf hourglass form mimicking two bay leaves connected at the pointy tip. Both leaves are used to infuse & deepen the flavors of dishes. They are rarely eaten themselves and are most commonly used in whole-leaf form. But the overlap ends there. From the citrus tree that gives us the wrinkly, green, uber-tart makrut lime, the leaves are essential in creating the flavors that fundamentally define Southeast Asian and Thai cuisine. Home kitchens, street vendors, and restaurants throughout Southeast Asia use makrut lime leaves, whether whole, sliced, crushed, or dried, to bring distinct citrusy and floral flavors to rich, tangy soups like Tom Kha Gai, vibrant curries, and piquant marinades.




What Do Makrut Lime Leaves Taste Like?

Biting into a fresh makrut lime leaf feels like biting into the thinnest peel of a smooth-skinned green lime. The leaf has a mouth-puckering citrus flavor, bordering on bitter, that moves to green, vegetal notes. When whole leaves are added, dried or fresh, into a hot soup, or sizzling wok, the complexity of flavor blossoms. The bright citrus flavors gain a robust richness, and new floral aromatics rise in the steam. Makrut lime leaves have the unique superpower to add both brightness and warmth to your favorite Southeast Asian dishes. Maybe this is all just a way of saying that their most important flavor is authenticity.


How Do You Use Makrut Lime Leaves?

Makrut lime leaves work their magic best when they have the time to imbue. Simmering, coconut milk-based soups have a way of drawing incredible tangy, floral flavor from the whole leaves. Looking to add an aromatic dimension to your rice? Simply lay 2 or 3 dried leaves on top as your rice cooks, right before it settles in for the long, lidded steam. Dried makrut lime leaves in Thai curries mingle their flavors over time with minced ginger, garlic, and chiles, adding a distinctive, classic citrus note. The leaves also play a key role in Southeast Asian marinades. From grilled Vietnamese chicken to tangy shrimp, they infuse marinated meats with vibrant, citric flavors.

We recommend using 2 to 3 times more dried leaves than the fresh leaf equivalent. Remove the leaves before serving as they can be difficult to chew. If left in, cook before consuming.





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