Kaffir lime

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Food and agriculture; Plants

iCitrus x hystrix
Kaffir limes on sale
Kaffir limes on sale
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. x
Binomial name
Citrus x hystrix

The Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as kieffer lime, is a Southeast Asian citrus plant with very aromatic leaves. The green lime fruits are distinguished by their bumpy exterior and their small size (approx. 4 cm wide), and the hourglass-shaped leaves (actually, the leaf and the leaf-shaped stem or phyllode) are widely used in Cambodian, Thai, and Lao Cuisine.

Kaffir lime leaves are also popular in the Cambodia, but less so in Vietnam. Malay, Burmese and Indonesian (especially, Balinese; see also Indonesian bay leaf) cuisines use them sporadically with chicken and fish.

The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen.

Although the most common product of the kaffir lime tree is its leaves (which impart a sharp lime/ neroli flavour to Cambodian base paste known as "Krueng", Thai dishes such as tom yum, and to Indonesian food such as sayur assam - literally sour vegetables), the juice and rinds of the small, dark green gnarled fruit (known as jeruk obat - literally medicine citrus) are used in traditional Indonesian medicine.

As for the zest, it is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to "arranged" rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

For other types of lime, see lime (fruit).


Kaffir lime (left), used in Southeast asian cooking, with galangal root.
Kaffir lime (left), used in Southeast asian cooking, with galangal root.
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