Do you ever eat at an Asian restaurant and wonder what that special fragrance is? The answer is that most of the east-Asian dishes use a special ingredient known as the kaffir lime leaves. It gives the food a touch of lime scent without the addition of the sour taste. As a result, kaffir lime leaves can instantly transform your home-cooked meal into an authentic restaurant-style gourmet.
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How Long Can You Freeze Kaffir Lime Leaves?
There are two ways to get these unique leaves in your kitchen. The first is to grow them in your kitchen garden. However, these leaves only last for a few weeks before shedding, and you need to pick them all at once. The second method is to get fresh kaffir lime leaves from the market.
In any case, you always end up with a large batch of leaves which is impossible to consume within a few days. As a result, you suffer a loss of time, money, and energy. What if I show you how to store kaffir lime leaves? The best way to preserve is by freezing the kaffir lime leaves. As a matter of fact, frozen kaffir leaves remain usable for more than one year.
If you are interested in learning the restaurant secret, keep reading!
Can You Freeze Kaffir Limes?
Kaffir lime is obtained from a tree that can grow up to 5ft. The leaves of the tree are used in several eastern Asia dishes to add lime scent to the food. Similarly, the fruit of the tree or kaffir lime can be used in the same way as regular lime. It has a strong scent and the same citric taste as regular lemons.
You can easily freeze kaffir limes without any rocket science involved. All you need to do is wash the limes thoroughly with cold water. Make sure that you rub and remove any dirt from the limes.
Place the limes on a paper towel and let them soak the water for one hour. Now toss the limes in a heavy-duty plastic bag and remove as much air as possible using a straw. Put the plastic bag in the freezer, and now you can use the frozen kaffir limes for up to six months.
How to Freeze Kaffir Lime Leaves?
Not everyone has the time and energy to grow their own kaffir limes at home. The chances are that you just bought a large batch of kaffir lime leaves, and now you are left with a bunch of unused leaves. In this case, the best solution is to preserve by storing kaffir lime leaves in the freezer. Here is how you can freeze kaffir lime leaves:
- If you have fresh lime leaves, start by rinsing them with cold water. You can use a sieve to remove the excess water from the leaves.
- Place the leaves on a paper towel and gently rub to soak the water. Moreover, let them sit for about an hour to dry out completely.
- Grab a heavy-duty, thick plastic bag and not the cheap zip-lock one. Put the dry kaffir lime leaves in the plastic bag and suck out all the air using a straw.
- Seal the bag and throw it in the freezer. Frozen kaffir lime leaves stay good for over a year.
How Do You Defrost Kaffir Lime Leaves?
Do you want to know how to use frozen kaffir lime leaves? The answer is simple; you don’t need to defrost or thaw them at all. According to chefs, frozen kaffir lime leaves are used in the same way as fresh ones. The leaves are so thin that they thaw right after you put in the curry.
However, if you are working on a recipe that requires defrosted lime leaves, you can thaw them simply by rinsing them with warm water. The leaves will come back to life and fresh as the first day.
Can You Refreeze Kaffir Lime Leaves?
As discussed before, kaffir lime leaves don’t need to be defrosted to use in curry. You can take out the plastic bag from the freezer and only use as many leaves as you need. However, if, by some chance, you defrosted more leaves than required, you can refreeze kaffir lime leaves without any problem. However, make sure that the leaves are dried using a paper towel before refreezing.
In general, you won’t notice any change in the texture, flavor, or fragrance of the leaves even after refreezing multiple times.
Kaffir lime leaves are used in most east-Asian curries. They give the dish a unique fragrance without adding the citrus flavor to it. However, these leaves are available in large batches, and you only need a few. Therefore, this article discussed kaffir lime leaves, how to freeze them? I hope it was helpful!