Kaffir lime leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking, in particular Thai cuisine. They can be used to flavor soups and curries as well as rice and noodles. The only problem is that they are usually sold in packs, and you probably won’t need that many each time.
So, what do you do? The answer is simple, you can freeze them, and in this article, we will tell you how to do this. The good news is that it’s easy.
How To Freeze Kaffir Lime Leaves
1. Put the kaffir leaves in a freezer bag.
You need a thick freezer bag because kaffir lime leaves have a strong odor. You don’t want this smell to permeate other food in your freezer. Make sure that you squeeze out the air from the freezer bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your kaffir lime leaves.
2. Put a label on the freezer bag.
Write the date and contents on the label. You need to know how long the kaffir lime leaves have been in the freezer so that you don’t keep them in the freezer past the use-by date. It is also important that you write what is in the freezer bag. If you freeze similar leaves like curry leaves and bay leaves, you might not be able to tell the difference by just looking at the bags.
How To Freeze Kaffir Limes
There are two ways to freeze kaffir limes. If you are freezing them whole, all you have to do is put them in a freezer bag, squeeze out the air, label the bag, and freeze.
However, if you want to freeze portions or slices, this is the method to use.
1. Slice the kaffir limes.
2. Flash-freeze the kaffir lime slices.
Get a baking tray and line it with parchment paper. Lay out the lime slices on the tray, making sure that they aren’t touching each other. This will ensure that they don’t stick together when bagged up. Freeze for a couple of hours.
3. Put the kaffir limes in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air to ensure that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag with the date and contents.
For How Long Can You Freeze Kaffir Lime Leaves
You can freeze kaffir lime leaves for around a year. After this time, they will still be safe to use but they will probably start to lose flavor so don’t worry if you have forgotten to use them within a year. You might just have to use extra kaffir lime leaves in your dish.
How Do You Defrost Kaffir Lime Leaves?
You don’t have to defrost kaffir lime leaves. All you have to do is take out as many as you need and put them straight in the dish. They are thin and delicate and will thaw almost as soon as they are put in a hot dish. If you want to use the kaffir lime leaves as a garnish, leave them at room temperature for about half an hour. They will then be ready to use.
Can You Refreeze Kaffir Lime Leaves?
It’s safe to refreeze kaffir lime leaves but they will lose some of their flavor. This is because when you freeze kaffir lime leaves, they lose a little moisture. Some of the flavor is in the moisture so this is lost. It doesn’t make much difference on the first freeze but if you freeze again you will notice that the flavor is more subtle. It is best to just take out as many leaves as you need for the dish and avoid refreezing.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Kaffir Lime Leaves?
Yes, kaffir lime leaves freeze particularly well. They last for a long time in the freezer and give an amazing hit of flavor to your Asian dish. The only thing you have to remember is that they have a strong odor that can permeate the freezer. Use strong and thick freezer bags or, alternatively, airtight containers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing kaffir lime leaves but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
They have a strong citrus flavor. They are sour, with a floral undertone. They are unique in flavor and can be described as a mixture of lemon, lime, and mandarin.
Like bay leaves, they are used for flavor and are generally not eaten. Both dried and fresh kaffir lime leaves are tough to chew. If you slice them up very thinly, however, you won’t notice this and you will be able to eat them.
You can freeze fresh bay leaves in much the same way as kaffir lime leaves. Remember to label the bag so that you know which leaves are in the bag. Bay leaves can be used in soups, stews, sauces, and marinades.
Yes, you can freeze curry leaves, again in the same way as kaffir lime leaves. Like kaffir lime leaves, curry leaves have a strong odor so make sure that you put them in a thick freezer bag or airtight container. Curry leaves are used to flavor soups, curries, dals, chutneys, and rice.