If you’re cooking with a recipe that includes fresh kaffir lime leaves, the conversion rate is approximately 1 drop of the 5% oil to 1-2 leaves (remember: leaves and drops are not accurate measures). But what really determines the quantities of oil is the type of the dish: hot or cold, fried or steamed, stir fried or uncooked.
The oil reaches its full potential when added at the end of the cooking process, and will taste stronger when added to cold dishes like salads or cold sauces. You can start with 1 drop per 2 servings, taste and add more if needed.
For hot dishes (like soups or curries) you can start with 1 drop of the 5% oil per serving of 250-300 grams, taste and add more if needed.
For deep fried dishes (like fish or vegetable cakes) you can use 4-5 drops of the 5% oil per 250 grams, because the frying evaporates some of the oil.
If you add the oil to a hot dish, it’s better to let it cool for a few minutes before adding the oil. When the food is at boiling temperature, the oil evaporates much quicker and you might need to use more of it.
If you’ve added too much kaffir lime oil to a hot dish, cook it for a few minutes and the taste will be diminished.
If you’re using the oil in a cold dish (beef & herbs salad, for example), it’s best to mix the oil with some of the dish’s sauce or liquids before adding it. This will guarantee a better distribution of the oil to the food.
If you’re using the oil in a dry dish with little or no sauce, try mixing the oil with liquid you’ve gathered from the food or with a little bit of water before mixing it with the rest of the food. For example, if you want to add the oil to a roasted chicken, collect some of the liquid accumulated in the baking pan, mix with the oil and spread evenly on the chicken. If you want to add the oil to dry curries, mix it with 1-2 teaspoons of water or a few drops of regular oil first.
you can add kaffir lime aroma to grilled food (meat, fish, vegetables) by mixing it with a little bit of liquid – it could be vegetable oil, lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, mayonnaise, mustard or even water – before applying it to the food. Use a baking brush to spread it evenly on the food.
Don’t add the kaffir lime oil straight from the bottle to the food. Drip it into a spoon first to gain better control over the quantity.
Try combining the kaffir lime oil with fresh herbs like lemon grass (its perfect companion), mint, scallions, cilantro etc. Since we eat with our eyes too, fresh herbs will add a herbal look to the food.