Kaffir lime is a tree that originates in Southeast Asia, different from the tree that gives us the common lime we are accustomed to. The leaves are found almost everywhere in the cuisines of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Mauritius, and Réunion.
The peel, or Kaffir Lime Zest, is much milder than the typical lime but is used in much the same way. It presents an intense citrus bouquet and the bittersweet background often associated with lime zest.
The dried zest is generally rehydrated before use, often in red or green curry pastes. It can also be ground then added, in small quantities, to soups, poultry, or seafood dishes. It’s a spice that pairs marvelously with ginger, lemongrass, or galangal.