In Southeast Asia and Indonesia, where countless other types of citrus are also available, it’s not only the fruits themselves but also their leaves that are appreciated. The fragrant leaves of the Kaffir lime are used frequently in Thai curries and in fish cakes, .
The flavor of fresh Kaffir lime leaf is so particular and so citrusy and floral, there’s really no substitute—though you can attempt a mix of ordinary lime zest and lemongrass. Thankfully, the leaves are available, if not from your local Asian grocery, online (try kaffirlimeleaves.com), or if you become a real diehard, from the live tree you keep in a pot in a sunny window.
Use whole Kaffir lime leaves in soups or braises, or cut them in fine slivers and add to fish cakes or salads. Their aroma permeates and enhances all other seasonings in an extraordinary way.