Finding a Kaffir lime leaves substitute is not impossible. It sounds like nothing else, so you probably imagine that you can’t find any alternatives. Wrong!
When cooking becomes your hobby, you inevitably end up trying new recipes and ideas. The same rule applies when you cook for your family. You want to surprise your loved ones with unique flavors and aromas. Most of these recipes are available online. Despite the fun coming with this experience, chances are you’ll often feel frustrated too.
Kaffir Lime Leaves Substitute Options
There are certain situations when no matter how appealing a recipe is, you miss one ingredient. Whether you’re not in the mood to go shopping or it’s a rare ingredient that takes time to find, you don’t have to despair. If you need some good alternatives for substituting Kaffir lime leaves, you can consider these options:
If you’ve never tasted Kaffir lime leaves before, you should know they taste like bay leaves, with slight differences. If you eat them whole, you’ll end up with a pungent taste in your mouth.
See also: Tarragon substitute
The citrusy flavor compensates for the bitterness though. Kaffir lime leaves are more common in Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisines. Therefore, it makes no difference if you cook seafood, a soup or a stew. Bay leaves will do the trick.
Lime or Lemon Zest
Lime or lemon zest sounds a bit inappropriate, as it comes from a completely different part of the plant. It’s not a leaf, so it’s hard to believe that it makes a good Kaffir lime leaves substitute. Well, it does.
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That’s because it also has a citrusy aroma and a pungent taste. Moreover, you can find limes and lemons in almost every grocery store, so the zest is by far the most popular alternative. Plus, it might actually improve your dish with the slight sweetness.
Lemon thyme is based on small leaves. The herb is usually used to season fish, meat meals, salads, and soups. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that lemon thyme is actually thyme. They have similar scents, but lemon thyme has a unique flavor.
It’s pretty close to Kaffir lime leaves due to the lemony fragrance. Lemon thyme is also a good choice for those who use herbs with healthy purposes, as it boosts the immune system and keeps the blood pressure under control.
No matter what kind of Asian or Mediterranean dish you’re cooking, curry leaves make a perfect Kaffir lime leaves substitute. The two are different from many points of view, yet they have one thing in common – the citrus flavor. They can enrich the aroma of your dish, as well as the taste. Curry leaves shouldn’t be eaten though. You can use them to release their flavor, but remove them before serving.
Other Citrus Leaves
Generally speaking, most citrus plants can be used to replace Kaffir lime leaves. Oranges, limes, and lemons are all citrus fruits, so they belong to the same family. They may not be as strong in flavor and fragrance, but there will be situations when these are your only options. If you want more from this substitute, just add a higher quantity to your dish.
See also: Does Lemon Juice Go Bad?