Spice of the month 3.26.05

They may be oddly shaped and may not look like your traditional
spice, but kaffir limes make the perfect complement to many Asian
recipes, especially chicken and fish.
They may be oddly shaped and may not look like your traditional spice, but kaffir limes make the perfect complement to many Asian recipes, especially chicken and fish.

Slightly smaller than the western lime, the kaffir lime, also known as makrut or magrood, has a dark green, bumpy surface. They both grow on similar citrus trees, but the kaffir lime is far more fragrant than its Western counterpart.

The juice of the kaffir lime is rarely used in cooking, but the zest is used to make red curry paste. It is the peels and leaves that have come to be a staple in cooking.

Because of its strength, it is only used in small amounts so it doesn’t overpower the other spices in a dish.

The hourglass-shaped leaves are placed whole into soups and sliced up for salads. They are used either fresh or dried.

In addition to foods, the kaffir, with its fresh aroma, is also used in shampoos, cleaners and medicines. Many homes in Thailand have kaffir lime trees in their yards because of the multiple functions they serve, according to www.wikipedia.org.

Recipe Zaar (www.recipezaar.com) offers the following recipe to make the perfect salmon with kaffir limes:

Kaffir Salmon with Grilled Limes

4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded finely

2 T. regular lime juice

2 T. grated ginger

2 tsps. sesame oil

2 tsps. chili oil

4 salmon fillets

4 regular limes, halved

salad greens, to serve

Step 1: Combine lime leaves, lime juice, ginger and sesame and chili oils, and pour over salmon.

Step 2: Allow salmon to marinate for at least 10 minutes (longer would be better).

Step 3: Place salmon and limes, flesh side down, on preheated grill and cook the regular limes for 1 minute on each side or until they are cooked to your liking.

Step 4: Serve salmon and grilled limes with salad greens tossed in a light lemon dressing. Serves four.

For more kaffir lime recipes, go to www.thaifoodandtravel.com or www.thaitable.com.

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