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How To Use Lime Leaves In Cooking

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In Thai cuisines, the way of using lime leaves in cooking is different for every dish. So for preparing a perfect Thai dish one has to learn how to use lime leaves in cooking. Some dishes require fresh lime leaves in whole or shredded form while others use dry leaves. Keep in mind few tips given below and you will never mess up your Thai dish.


Soups and Curries

Lime leaves are added whole in simmering curries and soups. They are never shredded because the leaves are removed before serving the dish. Shredding the leaves would make it impossible to discard the leaves after the dish is prepared.


Using fresh lime leaves in cooking soups and curries is preferable; however dried lime leaves can also be used when fresh leaves are not available. Dried leaves are less aromatic and to achieve the desired flavor it has to be doubly added.


Leaves can be bundled in a piece of cloth and immersed in the soup or curry. This bundle is discarded from the dish.



Salads always require fresh, young and tender lime leaves. Dried lime leaves cannot be used in place of fresh ones.


The pungent aroma of lime leaves is perfect for marinating chicken, lamb, beef and fish. Add shredded leaves to marinades and leave the marinated food for hours before cooking.


Stir Fry Dish

Fresh kaffir lime leaves are shredded for stir fried dishes.


Fish Cakes
Cooking fish cakes in Thai style requires fine shredding of leaves, this is one dish where lime leaves are eaten from the dish.



Krueng is a paste that requires fresh kaffir leaves. It is used in preparing a number of dishes.



Lime leaf's aroma is excellent for beef skewers. Blanch whole lime leaves before skewing them with beef. Serve lime leaf beef skews with rice or noodles. 


Shredded lime leaves can be used to decorate salads and curries.


Tips for using lime leaves

Old kaffir lime leaves may taste bitter, if you like mild flavors, remove the midrib of the leaf before simmering it into the dish. Stalks should always be discarded. 


Now that you know how to use lime leaves in cooking, you can enjoy cooking Thai recipes and the flavors of lime leaves. 


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How To Use Lime Leaves In Cooking