Citrus Week: Kafir Lime

Kafir Lime
Are you a thai curry addict? Curry nights are one of my favorites in our house and Scott makes a great one. But when Scott said that he wanted to buy an entire Kafir Lime tree just to make our curries better, I thought that maybe that was a little excessive. Did we really need and entire tree to make an occassional dinner better? However a good nursery sale and the promise of it being a small evergreen patio tree was enough to convince me, so we are now the owners of a kafir lime tree.

While the actual kafir limes are used for their zest, the juice of the bumpy skinned limes is generally ignored. The covetous part of this tree is the leaves which are added to curries to bring an incredible flavor and aroma. I read recently that often in Thailand one tree was plenty to supply an entire town with leaves for their meals. Soon we will be able to supply the greater Sonoma area with leaves. If you live in town or come for a visit, let us know and we’ll share the supply.

That wraps up Citrus Week for us. What citrus do you have growing in your garden?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Citrus Week: Kafir Lime

  1. I’ve got a kumquat tree in a pot which is currently residing in the living room given the frost we were having. It’s so pretty I don’t want to put it back out and it has one prize kumquat which I’ll savor. FYI – I saw kaffir leaves on the market this morning for the first time.

  2. suri

    Where I live, they are called ‘limau purut’ leaves. We use them in a lot of dishes such as chicken or beef ‘rendang’, ‘tom yam’ soups, and green curry that uses coconut milk. They are my favorite because of their unique flavor and aroma. i simply love them.

  3. Christine

    Six months of living in Thailand was quite the culinary edification! Thais find little difference between lemons and limes familiar to Westerners, even using the same word for both. From a cook’s point of view, the darker, knobby Kaffir lime has a far more intense flavor than any part of our western limes. The variety of citrus trees I’m growing in giant pots (indoors for winter) produce a modest crop of fruit each year. My Kaffir trees have only blossomed once in the few years I’ve had them, but have produced no fruit. I’m not complaining! The pungent, lemony aroma of the leaves, and the unique flavor they lend in cooking is without rival or comparison. Unlike bay leaves (equally good fresh or dried), only fresh Kaffir leaves are worth bothering with!!! I’m told the fruit zest can be frozen for future use.

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