Available in : Vietnamese
April 26, 2021
With the new rise of Covid 19 in Vietnam, grocery trips to the market are becoming less frequent and more efficient. It might be time to consider other alternatives and that is to buy fresh ingredients that you can freeze yourself. You can make your ingredients last longer while stretching out your money’s worth, it’s a Win-Win situation. Here is a guide to Asian ingredients you can freeze and how you can best do so.
Garlic and shallots
To freeze garlic and shallots, it’s best to peel and mince them first. Coat them lightly in oil to prevent freezer burn and preserve the flavor, then pack it in a freezer-safe bag so that it forms a thin sheet. Whenever you need them just break off a chunk and add it into the pan.The same works for any type of onions as well. These alliums will keep indefinitely in the freezer, but it’s best to use them within eight to 12 months.
Kaffir lime leaves, Curry leaves, Pandan leaves
These are some of the most distinctive Asian ingredients that bring out the flavor in soups and curries. To freeze them well, just separate the leaves from the stems and drizzle a few drops of oil to lightly coat each leaf. Then pack them in a freezer-safe bag, making sure you squeeze out as much air as possible. The leaves will last indefinitely in the freezer but will start to lose quality after 12 months.
Turmeric, and Ginger
These ingredients will stay fresh in the freezer for months. To store them the easiest way is to prep them in the forms you would need it most: grated or sliced. First, rinse and scrub to remove any dirt and dry thoroughly before cutting. You don’t need to peel the skin, just make sure that it’s clean. If you’re grating, you can throw it in your food processor to save some time, then pack it in a thin sheet in a freezer-safe bag, and just snap it off for the recipe. If you’re slicing, place a parchment sheet in the freezer-safe bag and freeze your slices on there without any of the pieces overlapping. For both methods, take it out and let it thaw before using it.
If you want the least amount of faff, you can easily freeze lemongrass whole. But if you already know you will be using it stir-fry or marinade, you can also save your preparation time down the line by chopping or mincing it first. Chop or mince to your liking and freeze them in an ice cube tray, once they’re frozen solid (about 12 hours), transfer them to a freezer-safe bag for longer-term storage.
Herbs like Basil, Coriander, Scallions, and Mint
Chop up your herbs before coating them in oil, then place them inside a freezer-safe bag. When you seal the bag, be sure to squeeze out excess air before sealing it tightly and let it freeze in a thin sheet. Whenever you need it, just break off the portion you need and store the rest for later.
To preserve them, you can easily freeze them whole (or chopped, if you prefer) and store them in freezer bags like always. Use as you need in your curry, stir-fry, or sauces.
Available in : Vietnamese