Today’s topic is how to freeze herbs and aromatics often used in Asian cuisine so that:
You can cut down on food waste.
You always have everything you need to make a dish on hand.
You’ve undoubtedly encountered this all-too-common kitchen issue. You purchase a piece of ginger to use in a dish, and then you have a ton of ginger left over. So you put it in the fridge “to keep for another day,” but what really occurs is that it progressively molds until it reaches full-on blue fur status, at which point you chuck it in the garbage.
It can happen to a bunch of onions, those ridiculously large bunches of cilantro (who needs so much cilantro?! ), that packed styrofoam tray of Thai bird chilies (do they think you want to die?! ), a lot of lemongrass, and other herbs like basil, parsley, and so on.
The good thing is that you can freeze all of these herbs and aromatics and use them anytime you want. No more squandering. No more wasting money on the same ingredients over and again. And no more special treks to your local Asian grocery store whenever you’re in the mood for Larb!
To give food flavor, many of our recipes ask for the same few fresh aromatics, such as ginger, scallions, cilantro, chiles, and ginger. Let’s talk about preparing them for long-term freezer preservation.
Cilantro Freezing Instructions
Can cilantro be frozen? You certainly can! Here’s how it’s done:
- Trim the cilantro’s bottom stems and soak them in a dish of cold water to remove any dirt or sand. Wash it a few more times in a dish of clean water to guarantee it’s clean.
- Using a salad spinner or a clean kitchen towel, thoroughly dry the cilantro leaves and stems.
- Freeze in a freezer bag (ideally reusable!) with any air pushed out.
Cilantro keeps well in this manner and may be used in prepared dishes such as soups and stir-fries. There is no need to defrost before use! Simply cut and add to your favorite dishes!
(If you’re curious about my freezer bags, they’re reusable silicone bags that are waterproof and dishwasher safe! They are simple to use and beneficial to the environment. We strongly advise you to check them out.)
Ginger Freeze Instructions
Is it possible to freeze ginger? Without a doubt! Ginger freezes incredibly well, and if there’s one item I always have on hand in my freezer, it’s ginger slices.
I use ginger a few slices at a time a couple of times a week, and it makes preparing Asian cuisine so much simpler. Ginger slices are also delicious in hot cups of tea and other beverages.
This is how you freeze ginger:
- Peel the whole piece of ginger using a vegetable peeler, paring knife, or spoon.
- Make discs out of the ginger.
- Fill a freezer bag halfway with ginger slices, push out any air, seal, and freeze!
It’s critical that the ginger remains reasonably dry throughout this procedure. Any natural moisture from inside the ginger is OK, but avoid getting the ginger wet; otherwise, the slices may fuse together in the freezer and become difficult to separate.
Because the ginger has been cut into thin disks, it thaws readily (though you don’t have to thaw the ginger before using) and may be diced, minced, or just dropped directly to heated oil to provide fragrance and taste.
Scallions: How To Freeze Them
Can scallions be frozen? Sure thing. When there was a large sale on scallions one weekend at our Asian store, my mom began freezing them.
They store nicely in the freezer and may be used in any cooked meal. Because it’s preferable not to thaw scallions before using them, while washing and preparing them for the freezer, dice/chop them into whatever shapes or configurations you believe you’ll need before freezing.
Scallions may be frozen in the following ways:
- Wash and thoroughly dry the scallions with a clean kitchen towel.
- Trim the very ends of the scallions (where the roots are) then dice, julienne, or slice the scallions whichever you prefer, place in freezer bags, push out any air, and seal before freezing.
- When determining how to prepare the scallions, I consider how I use them most often. Many of our recipes ask for diced or chopped scallions, as well as the white and green sections of the scallions to be added separately. As a result, I dice them and freeze the white and green sections individually.
Other recipes ask for scallions to be cut into 2-inch lengths, so I chop some of them into that length and store them in separate bags.
How To Frost Chillies And Peppers
Freezing peppers and chilies is an excellent technique to ensure that you always have some on hand to lend a spicy spice to meals. It’s particularly pertinent today, when my parents’ garden is brimming with all kind of peppers.
Thai bird chilies are often used in our cuisine, particularly in Southeast Asian recipes. However, whereas most recipes call for just one chili (up to three at most), those small chilies are sometimes sold in packs of 30-40 peppers! We’d never use that many in a month, much alone 1-2 weeks (the time they’d last in the fridge).
What is the solution? Of course, freezing them! As I write this, I have a bag of spicy peppers in my freezer, waiting to be cut up and put to my Green Papaya Salad.
To freeze chilies, follow these steps:
- Wash the chilies under cold running water while keeping them whole.
- Using a clean kitchen towel, thoroughly dry them.
- Place in freezer bags and freeze.
Lemongrass Freezing Instructions
Lemongrass is a speciality ingredient that is not often seen in supermarket shops.
Despite having reasonably easy access to an Asian grocery shop, I prefer to purchase lemongrass when it appears fresh and keep it in my freezer since even the Asian market does not always offer top quality fresh lemongrass! Either they’re out, or the lemongrass they do have seems to have been sitting in the vegetable department for much too long.
It’s fantastic in marinades for meat, curries, and soups, and it freezes well.
To freeze lemongrass, follow these steps:
- Remove any tough or old outer leaves, as well as the ends and woody tips.
- Remove the remaining stalk and cut it into 4-inch segments.
- Place in freezer bags and freeze.
There is no need to defrost the lemongrass if it is to be used whole to a dish, like in our Vietnamese Bo Kho (hot beef stew). If you need to cut the lemongrass or add it to a food processor to prepare a marinade, defrost it beforehand.
Conclusion (How To Freeze Herbs And Aromatics)
So, this is all about “How To Freeze Herbs And Aromatics” from our side. And we hope that you understand and like the Recipe. Please share your ideas and recommendations in the comments section below!
Thank you for your precious time!