Think of kaffir lime leaves as the Asian equivalent to bay leaves. Kaffir lime leaf is a key ingredient in Thai cooking as well as other Southeast-Asian cuisines. It is probably one of the most aromatic of all herbs and a wonderful addition to many Thai and Southeast-Asian stir-fries, soups and curries. The thick leaves are dark green and shiny on one side, and pale colored and porous on the other.
Kaffir lime leaves can be purchased fresh, frozen or dried from Thai or Vietnamese food stores (some Chinese food stores carry them while others do not). In Asian food stores, you’ll find them either in the fresh produce section alongside the other herbs, or in the freezer section. A few of the larger regular supermarket chains in North America are also starting to sell lime leaves—look for them in the fresh herbs section.
Note that dried lime leaves are not as aromatic or flavorful as fresh or frozen. One package of fresh lime leaves will last you a year or longer, and they freeze well. Take one or two leaves out as you need them, then wrap up the package and return it to the freezer until next time.
- 450g pork loin, cut into 5-cm-long strips
- 1 and half teaspoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons Maggi Seasoning sauce (or simple use light soy sauce)美极鲜或者生抽
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorn powder
- 2 cups cooking oil
- A handful of kaffir lime leaves
- 2 stalks of lemon grass, finely sliced
- Clean the pork, cut into long strips and put int a mixing bowl. Add 1 and half teaspoon of fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of Maggi Seasoning or light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of white peppercorn powder. Toss well and marinate for 10 minutes. Arranged the marinated pork on a baking tray and leave to dry under the sun (or in a warm oven with a temperature of 40°C) until dry on the outside. This takes about 1 hour. Do not over dry the pork or it will be too dry and tough.
- Clean the lemongrass, remove some outer tough layers. Finely slice the lemongrass and put into a bowl.
- Place a wok or frying pan over medium heat and add 2 cups of oil. Leave until the oil is hot. Fry the pork by three batches until golden and cooked through. Stir regularly with a spatula. When done, remove the pork and place them in kitchen towel-lined plate to help remove excess oil. Separately fry the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass slices in the same wok over medium heat until crispy. Remove and drain. Place cooked sun-dried pork on a serving dish.
- Get a small fresh sauce pan and scoop into 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok which was used to fry the pork and herbs. Turn up the heat. When oil is hot, combine 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce (or Maggi Seasoning sauce) and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into the wok, then quickly add into fried lime leaves and lemongrass. Toss to coat well. This whole process takes about 1 minute. Remove and arrange attractively over fried sun-dried pork on a serving dish. Ready to serve.