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Old 03-22-2008, 05:10 PM   #21
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Quick question along these same lines: I bought fresh Kaffir lime leaves a couple of months ago for a Thai dish I was making. They have been in the fridge ever since, in a plastic bag, and have dried out.
Are they still good to use? I am hoping it will be kinda like using bay leaves, they are dried as well but still work when stewing for a long time. I am just hoping they will still impart the desired flavor and not disintegrate either.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:19 PM   #22
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As long as they haven't molded they're still good. If I'm ever lucky enough to find the fresh I freeze them as there is No Way that I will find them here, otherwise I use the dried leaves which impart the flavor that you're looking for. I also freeze the dried as well.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:20 PM   #23
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Cool, thanks! I will move them to the freezer just to be sure. We can get them fairly cheaply at a local Thai grocery store, but still I hate to waste.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:26 PM   #24
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Both lemongrass and lime leaf plants are easy to grow indoors and out in the summer here in Richmond. Mine are in pots. They are ornamental, and the lime leaves are a conversation piece as it has spikes over an inch long. My lime plant came from a Cambodian grocery store, and the lemongrass was given to me. When I cut the lemongrass back, I stick the stems in water and they sprout in a few days. I don't think that you can do this with the lime. Then I give them away. You use the part nearest the base of the lemongrass, and a mortar and pestle works best for breaking it up as it is very tough. Ditto lime leaves. Neither has a taste or aroma equivalent in typical american herbs or fruit. Careful of the leaves of the lemongrass and thorns of the lime. They are both very sharp.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:55 PM   #25
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expatgirl: I would suspect that if lemongrass grows year round in Houston, so to would lime trees. I think that they are a large tree, so I would keep them potted. If you know any Cambodian or Thai in Houston, or, if you have a asian grocery, you might ask them. I have seen both lime and lemon plants in Cambodian and Thai households here in Richmond. As in all herbs, fresh is better.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:06 PM   #26
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Thanks, Bigjim, I'd like to grow some and it's possible that I might find one at our local Asian supermarket---believe me my lemongrass grew to be humongous! Potting the lime tree would be a better solution as we do have freezes in Houston. Never bothered the lemongrass, though, as new growth came back from the roots
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:42 PM   #27
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I'm fairly new to thai cooking, but have tried several dishes and love them. I live in Texas and have a Kaffir lime tree that I bought at Teas Nursery out of Houston. I've also seen the trees at our Lowes home improvement store. Mine is growing like crazy. I have it in a place that does not drain well and get 5-6 hours of hot afternoon sun.

If you can't find/grow the trees - I did see on another web site that I found through Google that talks about using young leaves off of a regular lime tree as an alternative. But you can't beet using the original. The fragrance from these fresh leaves is amazing. I also grow my own lemon grass.

Look forward to more conversations and maybe some recipe posting ideas too.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:56 PM   #28
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Hi, C. Flowler and welcome to DC! I live in Houston and am excited to know that you can get the trees there. I will have to look and plant one when I'm permanently back in Houston (maybe 2 years) What time of the year did you plant yours? Your growing conditions sound so well Houstonish that I have several perfect spots for one. Can you use the leaves immediately or did you have to wait awhile? If you are looking for a good Thai/Vietnamese cookbook there is one called "The Lemon Grass Tree" by Mae ? that has excellent recipes from her own restaurant.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:04 AM   #29
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I bought my Kaffir Tree at Teas Nursery in Spring. It was about 3 feet tall. I used the leaves within the first week. I keep trimming it to make it bushy instead of letting the limbs grow logner. It's been in the ground (Texas Gumbo) for about 2 years and it's about 4 feet tall. Also the Lemon Grass will "live" outside all year. The stalks shrink up in winter and die back some, so you can't use them. But in Summer they grow big 3-4' tall like Pampus grass. I have 2 of the plants in my woods and just let them grow wild.

Other fruit trees that do real well here are the Improved Meyer Lemon and Mandarin Satsuma. I grow all my own herbs too.

I'll check out the cookbook - thanks.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:15 PM   #30
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Well, we must be fellow gumbo clay gatherers as I grew my own herbs as well-------just never thought I could plant a kaffir lime tree, however--------can't wait to do that.......what do you do with your satsuma mandarin oranges? I heard they make great liquer (I know the spelling is wrong)---I know that I haven't found any that I really like to eat per se
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