Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #22 - Keffir Lime Leaves

I had never seen Keffir limes or their leaves before my first Thai meal, at Krung Thai (the original location), in San Jose. But once I got a taste of Thom Ka Gai and those unusual and fragrant leaves, well, I was hooked. I discovered, very happily, that the OSH near my house had a Keffir lime tree, and I snatched it up. As you can see in the photo below, the leaves are sort of double, like two leaves stacked end-to-end. And the perfume! If I ever find a Keffir lime essential oil, I will buy it by the gallon.

keffir lime leaves

The classic use for the leaves and juice, for me, is Thom Ka Gai, a soup also made with coconut milk, lemon grass and, in this case with chicken (Gai), although you can also use prawns (not sure of the Thai word for that). Here's a recipe for a Thai fusion risotto, using that soup as the liquid. It's a little unusual, perhaps, but it makes a wonderful dish.

If you've never made risotto, here's brief description of the process. This is one of the things I use my StirChef for. It's an energy saver, mine.

Keffir limes
FYI, here's a photo of the limes themselves. They have a wrinkeld, ridged brain-like look to them. These are green, in the sense of being unripe. When ripened, they are a color similar to key limes. Their juice seems very sour to me, but I've never had straight lime juice from regular limes, so I can't really compare them. They smell like heaven, though.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Kalyn said...

I love the smell and taste of this. My step sister lives in California and she sends me the leaves from her tree once in a while. You are so lucky to have a tree.

At 1:48 AM, Blogger b'gina said...

All my citrus trees are in containers because I kept them up on the deck. So, you could probably grow one if you wanted. It's great being able to go outside and grab a few leaves. The one drawback, and this might be my lack of expertise, but the trees don't always put out much fruit.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous sher said...

I've been meaning to get a Keffir lime to grow here in Davis, California. I never see this variety sold though. I guess I'll have to order it by mail. Yours looks beautiful!

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous sher said...

I've wanted to grow a Keffir lime here in the Central Valley of California for some time. I will have to order one because they don't have that variety of lime for sale here. Yours looks wonderful!

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

I just made Tom Yum and would have loved to have three kaffir lime leaves. You are lucky and blessed to be able to get them.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

I just made Tom Yum and did not have access, how lucky you are to have one on the deck. I am jealous.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

P.S. I think it is kaffir lime.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger b'gina said...

gia-gina, I've seen both spellings. I think it's one of those things where it depends on what transliteration system they use for a language that doesn't use our alphabet. I saw it with the "e" first, so I've just stuck with that. :G: You'll find a lot under both spellings when you Google it. I'm also one of those people who spell yog(h)urt with an "h".

At 11:10 AM, Blogger b'gina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous ZaZa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger b'gina said...

In case anyone's wondering why all the deleted comments, I've been trying to figure out what happens if I reject a comment on moderation. Unfortunately, since I'm the blog owner, my comments don't go to moderation.

I've gotten a couple of duplicate comments sitting in my moderation queue, and I'm afraid to reject them for fear the poster will be told their comment was rejected, when it was only a duplicate I want deleted. Eeek!

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous KaffirLover said...

I'm always delighted to find others who have a passion for Kaffir Lime like I do!

There's all the difference in the world between fresh leaves and the dried kind.
You can have fresh Kaffir Lime leaves delivered to you from a place in Arizona by emailing: They always arrive fresh.


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