Tag Archives: Kaffir Lime Leaves

Fruity Fridays ! Kaffir Limes…

Kaffir Limes fruity Fridays

 

Kaffir Limes… I have used the leaves in many of the Thai dishes that I cook they are used in many Asian dishes…The trees are small evergreen trees and prickly. The one I had was quite a young one and I had not seen any fruit…It wasn’t until a neighbour gave me some of the fruit that I put two and two together and realised that was the fruit of the tree I had growing in the garden and now we have fruit.

Kaffir Lime tree and fruit

The rind is very bumpy unlike the normal limes I use and when cut open the flesh is quite dry and what juice there is has an acidic, bitter and is very strongly sour tasting.

A complete contrast to the zest which is quite aromatic.

A little zest goes a long way and very finely chopped or added to ingredients it imparts a beautiful citrusy flavour. I have added a little video as there is a knack for chopping the lime leaves very finely.

Here in Thailand, it is also pounded in a pestle and mortar as it is an ingredient in many curry pastes.

Tom Yum Goon

it is added to the iconic Tom Yum soup and other soups and stews here and also is an ingredient in Thai shrimp cakes.

Thai Prawn Cakes

The Madagascans use the whole macerated fruit and make rum I wonder if I could have a go….Carol’s distillery in her garden shed…Does that sound like a plan???

Called Rhum arrange it comes from the islands of la Reunion and Nearby Madagascar as well as the French islands in the Caribbean.

House or homemade rums flavoured with fruits, roots and spices that are macerated for a minimum of 1 month..although it is recommended to let it macerate for 6 months or even longer.

There are as many as 400 different recipes for rhum arrange and some have been macerated for 3-4 years…Wow, I bet they pack a punch!

And there is no end to what things are put into those bottles to “arrange” the rums…it could be a snake or sea urchin or just fruits and spices but all supposed to be quite delicious…

There are two different ways of macerating one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.

The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.

Rhum Combava (Kaffir Lime)

Kaffir lime fruits

1 litre of white rum (traditionally Rhum Charette) or rhum Agricole

Grated zest of one combava/kaffir lime

1 vanilla bean, split in two

150g raw cane sugar

Mix and infuse the rum for at least 2 months.

I think I could manage to do that and make it into a nice cocktail… Oh Yes!

Nutritionally the benefits of the Kaffir Lime is from the oils in the rind and the high levels of citronella and limonene which are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Oil extracted from the leaves is also used for medicinal purposes, it is mixed into shampoos, soaps salves and fragrances.

Most often it is used in oral products or the leaves can be rubbed directly onto the gums as it eliminates harmful bacteria in the mouth.

In the rural areas and villages, you will find many herbs, fruits and vegetables are used like this to help alleviate and cure many ailments as many either are to far away to visit the doctor or cannot afford to or even just prefer to use remedies passed down through the generations.

It is also used as an insect repellant by mixing the juice or oil with a lotion or salve and it reduces the chance of being bitten.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Kaffir Lime…Do you use Kaffir lime or its leaves ????

Please share this post if you have enjoyed it on your favourite social media …Thank you xx

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Fish Friday…Tom Yum Soup with Prawns( Tom Yum Goong)

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I have made it from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady..Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500 gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • Handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

N.B Next time I will use shallots instead of white onions and I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.

Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.

Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you’d still like the chilli flavor but not as much heat.

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Now prepare your prawns I remove everything except for the tail…..others put in whole prawns…personal preference.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

.Add tomatoes and onions.

Tom Yum Goon 3

Cook for further 6-8 minutes.

Now add prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve.

Tom Yum Goon

You will notice that this soup does not have the bright orange colour of many of the Tom Yum soups which you have in restaurants it is because either a Tom Yum paste or stock cube is used and it is not made from scratch.

This soup can also be made with chicken and coconut milk which is also a popular variation and known as Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)

J