Something Sour from Indonesia

Salam leaves are sometimes referred to as Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam is their name in Indonesia), but they are in an unrelated species and the flavor is quite different from that of bay laurel leaves. However, the fresh or dried leaves are used in the same ways as true bay leaves. They are common in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines but are little known outside their native habitat. The dried leaves are aromatic with a mild citrusy, somewhat tart flavor. They are best in soups, stews, and other long-simmered preparations. They also season nasi goreng, Indonesia’s version of fried rice and its best-known dish.