Last night while rustling around my fridge to find something to marinate sea bass, I found kaffir lime leaves. The rest is history.

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Kaffir lime leaves are often used in Thai cooking and provide a wonderfully fragrant bite. The taste is so amazingly fresh and delicious. I often find them in the fresh herb section of my grocery store. This marinade is a good starting point for any asian style marinade.  I’ve made it countless times with variation depending on what I have in my fridge and pantry. Sometimes it incorporates fresh lime juice, honey, red pepper flakes or even lemongrass paste. It changes every time. As I mentioned, I had two beautiful sea bass filets ready and waiting for something liven them up.  Mixed with garlic, ginger, sesame oil and the other ingredients listed below, it’s all a match made in heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 – 1 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In my case I added sea bass, but you could add shrimp, chicken, beef or even tofu depending on your liking. Be sure to coat everything with the marinade and either leave in a bowl, spooning marinade over periodically or throw into a freezer bag and turn several times.

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I marinated my fish for a few hours and baked for 15 minutes or so in a 475 degree oven until the insides ran clear and were nice and white. You could saute in a pan, grill on skewers or broil depending on what your prefer.

I served it up with my tasty pineapple cashew rice – a mix of jasmine rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, onion, garlic, ginger, peas, fresh pineapple chunks, scrambled egg and cashews.

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 And I can’t forget my asian green beans sauteed in garlic, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, ginger and sesame seeds. The flavor combination of all three dishes went perfectly together.

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The sea bass was flaky, buttery and fragrant. The rice was sweet and salty, and the beans added a perfect crunch to an all-together delicious tasting dinner. If you haven’t experimented with kaffir lime leaves I urge you to pick some up the next time you are at the store. There really is no substitute for their bright, floral taste. Like a regular lime on steroids. Amazing! Enjoy.

Please note, the leaves are not meant to be eaten, only as a flavoring device. 

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