My love for kafir lime leaves was recently renewed when I bought at small punnet from a supermarket near my place. As I do not use a lot of it it my dishes, I have more than enough to use these leaves everyday, in most of my dishes. The unused leaves are now kept in a container in the freezer.
I have never tried grilling fish using kafir lime leaves. Neither have I googled for recipes of fish using lime leaves. I am just too busy to google for everything. Most of my dishes are cooked without referring to any recipe or measurements. They are ‘simply whack’ dishes requiring some common sense and most times (9 out of 10), my estimation on how much and what ingredients to use has been unerring, to produce a dish with just the taste that I wanted it to be! 😀
My first try with grilling fish with kafir lime leaves was saba fish (mackeral). I rubbed the fish with turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, pepper and cut up a handful of lime leaves. The fish was marinated for about 7 hours.
I grilled the fish for 10 minutes on each side at 180C for 1st 10 minutes (fish covered with aluminum foil) and 160C for last 10 minutes (foil unwrapped to expose fish). I have experimented many times with the timing and finally, I got it right with this timing and method. This way, the flesh will still be moist.
I threw in some sliced garlic onto the fish in the final 10 minutes. Be careful not to grill sliced garlic too long in the oven as it browns and gets burnt pretty quickly.
The outcome was a delightfully aromatic fish (I love everything Thai!) with a hint of Thai flavor. The flesh was moist and not dry. I was sold. And so this is how kafir lime leaves earned a spot in my refrigerator! It is way cheaper than other herbs like basil, thyme and rosemary. And the smell is Thai heavenly! I should have squeezed in some lime juice and cut up some raw onions too to make it taste more Thai.
Tip: for busy mothers or fathers, you can marinate a big portion of fish, chicken or pork on your rest days with whatever herbs, spices and condiments that you fancy. Store them in individual ziplock bags or plastic bags. Thaw them in the morning before leaving the house and when you are back in the evening, just crank up the oven or toaster to grill your meat. You spend less than an hour marinating and organizing your meat once a week and you will have fresh, yummy and hot home-cooked meals everyday!
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