Can You Freeze Thai Basil?
Spices are integral to almost all Asian recipes, and Thai basil is amongst the most popular. Compared to the regular basil leaves, Thai basil is spicier.
However, since Thai basil needs specific growing conditions, it is unavailable throughout the year, especially in winter. Therefore, there is a need to stack up this spicy herb. So, we often receive this query from people.
Can You Freeze Thai Basil?
People have their ways of freezing Thai basil. We shall discuss the six most popular methods of freezing this spicy additive.
How To Freeze Thai Basil By Blanching?
Washing and drying Thai basil leaves is essential for every freezing process. Place the leaves in a colander under the kitchen tap and rinse in cold water. Transfer the leaves to a paper towel and dry them to remove excess water from the surface. Allow the leaves to dry naturally by placing them on a dry paper towel to enable evaporation.
Prepare the boiling water for blanching Thai basil. Simultaneously, keep another vessel filled with ice water ready.
Place the basil leaves in a colander that should fit into the pot of boiling water. Dip the leaves into boiling water for not more than five seconds.
Transfer the leaves to the ice bath and let them soak for some time. Pat each leaf dry before placing them in the freezer. The leaves should become firm after about 12 hours.
Remove the leaves from the freezer and transfer them to a freezer bag. Remove excess air and seal the bag. Label it and set the leaves to freeze. Usually, Thai basil leaves last for six months.
The advantage of blanching is that it helps the leaves retain their color and prevents them from becoming brown inside the freezer.
How To Freeze Thai Basil Unblanched?
The initial washing and drying procedure is the same. Subsequently, you skip the blanching process. Alternatively, you spread the dry leaves on a cookie sheet, preferably in a single layer.
Freeze the leaves until they turn firm. Usually, it should take between 12 and 24 hours.
Transfer the basil leaves to a freezer bag and follow the standard freezing method.
They freeze well, but the only difference is that the unblanched leaves turn brown and can break easily. The basil leaves do not exhibit any change in flavor and taste.
How To Freeze Thai Basil Leaves Rolled In A Paper Towel?
Wash the dry the Thai basil leaves as you usually do. Then, place the leaves on a paper towel in a single layer and roll it up.
Transfer the towel containing the leaves into a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before freezing it.
The leaves freeze well and become hard. It can be challenging to peel the leaves from the paper at times. Though you can freeze Thai basil leaves in this method, we do not recommend much.
How To Freeze Unblanched Leaves Straight Into The Freezer Bags?
It is also possible to freeze basil leaves straight into the freezer bag without blanching them. However, you cannot dispense with the washing and drying because it removes the dirt and insects. Though the leaves turn brown, they do not lose their flavor.
This method of freezing basil leaves is better than the paper towel method because you can access the leaves easily when you need them.
How To Freeze Basil Loaves Chopped And Coated With Oil?
The washing and drying procedure is the same. Toss the basil leaves with some olive oil. Apportion the leaves into mason jars and freeze them.
The leaves turn dark brown and can be challenging to remove. But, there is no difference in the taste. Therefore, we do not recommend this method to anyone. However, it is among the popular techniques to freeze Thai basil leaves.
How To Freeze Thai Basil Leaves In An Ice Cube Tray?
Freezing basil leaves in an ice cube tray is good if you need to use them once. First, wash and dry the leaves as usual. Then, place the leaves in an ice cube tray. You can top the trays with olive oil, butter, or water.
Freeze the leaves until they turn firm. Then, remove the cubes and place them inside a freezer bag. Alternatively, cover the ice cube trays with a plastic wrap and freeze.
The leaves do not lose their color and texture. The preparation process can take time because you have to chop each leaf. However, it becomes convenient to transfer the frozen basil leaves directly into your soups and stews.
How Long Do Frozen Thai Basil Leaves Last In The Freezer?
Thai basil leaves can remain in the frozen state comfortably for six months.
How To Defrost Thai Basil Leaves?
You can add the frozen Thai basil leaves directly from the freezer into your soups and stews while preparing them. However, some recipes require the leaves to defrost. The ideal defrosting method is to transfer the frozen basil leaves to the refrigeration compartment and allow them to thaw naturally. It can take time, but it delivers the most encouraging results.
Can You Refreeze Thai Basil Leaves?
You can refreeze Thai basil leaves after defrosting them. However, repeated defrosting and refreezing can affect their texture, flavor, and taste. Therefore, we recommend freezing the Thai basil leaves in small portions that you can use straight away without refreezing.
Can You Freeze Thai Basil Leaves With Other Spices?
Using the ice cube tray freezing method, you can freeze other herbs and spices like ginger, green chilies, and lemongrass. It helps add favorite seasonings to food and enjoy the refreshing flavors.
Can You Freeze Basil Pesto?
It is possible to freeze basil pesto in an ice cube tray. Scoop some pesto into the ice cube trays and add olive oil before freezing. Transfer the frozen basil pesto cubes into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer.
Thai basil leaves do not grow in winter. Hence, freezing them in advance ensures you have them to spice the food and make it tastier. So, can you freeze Thai basil? Yes, you can.