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Also known as kaffir lime, makrut lime leaves are a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, characterized by a penetrating citrus flavor and bold, clarifying aroma with a slight floral accent. In fact, this ingredient is so exceptional that many chefs say if you can’t get your hands on makrut lime, it’s better to omit it rather than replace it with ordinary limes—the flavor simply can’t compare. Makrut lime leaves pair well with ginger, lemongrass, galangal, garlic and cilantro and will add a distinctive flavor and wonderful aroma to curry pastes, soups and marinades. Try simmering 3 or 4 leaves in Cambodian White Pepper Coconut-Curry Chicken (Amok) or Stir-Fried Black Pepper Chicken. Just be sure to either finely slice and mince them, or remove them from dishes before serving as you would bay leaves, since mature makrut lime leaves are rather tough.
A Cambodian refugee, Channy Laux started Angkor Food in 2010 to honor the memory of her mother, who fled to the United States with Laux and her three siblings during the Khmer Rouge's regime. The chef's award-winning company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is our favorite source of authentic Southeast Asian ingredients.Shop All
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