Kafir Lime Leaves
Taken from the leaves of the Kafir Lime, these vibrant green leaves add an unmistakably fresh aroma to Southeast Asian cuisine. Used in many soups, salads and stir-fries, Kafir Lime Leaves are unique and impossible to substitute. The actual limes are tiny, with a famously bumpy, green exterior.
Kafir Lime possesses a more intense sour flavor compared to regular limes and is therefore used sparingly for its juices. Indonesians and Thais often squirt a tiny bit of the juice over sambals or spicy chili pastes and certain sweet soy sauce condiments to bring out other flavors. The leaves are used both fresh and dried, though nothing can parallel its subtle yet powerful essence. Stored in the freezer in zip lock bags, these leaves can last a remarkably long time, retaining their flavor and scent. They can be found in the frozen food section of Asian grocery stores.
While nothing can substitute for this very unique Asian ingredient, if you can’t find it, then use grate lime zest in its place.