From salads and seasonings to wrappers and garnishes, there are as many kinds and uses of leaves in cookery as there are – what else? – leaves on a tree. And that’s just the tree in your own backyard, so to speak. For every familiar bay leaf or sprig of mint used on one side of the globe, there’s an equally common counterpart on the other.
Abundant in markets and often found in home gardens throughout Asia, the following three cooking leaves are used in a variety of recipes ranging from drinks to desserts. In the West, they are most likely available at Asian grocers either frozen or as extracts, although they are increasingly being offered fresh as well. For a different flavor in your next recipe, consider adding these aromatic leaves to your pantry.