I love fresh lime leaves, which can be difficult to get in England, but are two-a-penny here. The best way to chop them is to roll them like you imagine the Cubans rolling a cigar, and then slice them ever so thinly. The result is delicate wisps of lime leaves that make the perfect garnish for any Thai/Vietnamese/Cambodian dish.
I have pinched this delicious recipe from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey.
Turmeric marinated chicken kebabs wrapped in lime leaves
250 g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red birds eye chill, finely chopped, with or without seeds
½ tsp ground white pepper (lots of recipes use white pepper)
about 20-30 double-lobed lime leaves, available from Thai grocers or in China Town
vegetable oil, for basting
4-8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 mins
Make the marinade by mixing the turmeric, lie juice, fish sauce, chilli, shallot and white pepper into a bowl. Cut chicken into 2.5 cm cubes and mix into marinade. Leave for 1 hour.
Preheat the barbeque or the grill, and prepare the dipping sauce.
Finally wrap each chicken piece with a double lime leaf, and thread onto the bamboo skewers. I prefer to make 2 skewers per person, and then whatever is left over on another for seconds!
Brush with oil and place on barbeque or under grill. Cook for 5 minutes or more on each side, watching that the line leaves dot burn. They are for taste, and not meant to be eaten!
Sweet/sour chilli dipping sauce
This sauce can be used to season any Far eastern dish; particularly good with my fresh summer rolls.
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar or palm sugar
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 red birds eye chilli, thinly sliced with or without seeds
I garlic clove, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients with 1 tbsp of water, and serve in individual saucers