Lemongrass is a herb that’s popular with Asian cuisine. With its citrus and lemony flavor, it can be used in a variety of dishes such as curry, stir-fry, and even sauces. This herb doesn’t last very long once it’s harvested, which is usually a week in the fridge. For longer-term storage, can freezing lemongrass be an option?
So, can you freeze lemongrass? Yes, you can freeze lemongrass. This herb can either be frozen whole or in cubes, depending on what you’ll be using them for. Both methods will keep the lemongrass fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Does Lemongrass Freeze Well?
Lemongrass, like most other herbs, freeze very well. This is due to their hard texture, which prevents them from breaking apart during freezing.
When storing lemongrass in the freezer, be sure to keep them stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. This will prevent any air from leaking and damaging the lemongrass.
The intense citrus fragrance of the lemongrass is what people are after. By freezing the herb, it doesn’t change the intensity of the smell. However, you want to not keep them frozen too long. While it can last for up to 3 months, you should try to use it within 4-6 weeks for the best result.
How to Freeze Lemongrass
There are 2 methods of freezing lemongrass. This will depend on what you’ll be using the herb for.
If you are planning to use lemongrass in dishes like soups and stews, you can freeze it whole. This is also the quickest method to freeze lemongrass.
For adding lemongrass to stir-fry and curries, freeze lemongrass in cubes. This method will require a bit of time preparing, but it will require no thawing before using it.
Below are the 2 methods with instructions for freezing lemongrass:
Freezing the Whole Lemongrass
- Start by cutting the leaves at the top off. Be careful as the leaves have sharp edges.
- If you’re planning to use the leaves, bundle them together first. Then use a piece of yard to tie them together.
- Peel off the outer woody leaves from the stem of the lemongrass.
- In a freezer bag, place the stems into it. If you have a lot, use another bag to place the rest.
- In a separate freezer bag, place the leaves in it.
- Press on the bag to squeeze out all the air from it.
- Seal the bag tightly and label them with the freezing date.
- Place the bag of lemongrass into the freezer.
Freeze Lemongrass in Cubes
- Start by trimming the leaves and remove the ends of the lemongrass stalks.
- Place it under running water for a few seconds to remove any debris or dirt that may be on it.
- Put the lemongrass on the cutting board and finely dice it. Alternatively, you can use a mini food processor to grind up the lemongrass.
- Once the lemongrass is diced, use a spoon and scoop them into each slot of the ice cube tray. Fill the lemongrass to the top of each slot.
- Top each slot with water until the lemongrass is submerged.
- Wrap a cling wrapper around the entire tray.
- Place the tray of lemongrass into the freezer and let it sit overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Once it’s completely frozen, remove the ice tray from the freezer.
- Immediately transfer the lemongrass cubes into a freezer bag.
- Press on the bag to remove any excess air from the bag before sealing it.
- Label the bag with the freezing date and place it back into the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Lemongrass?
Lemongrass stored in the freezer will last for up to 3 months. This is if it’s prepared and properly stored in the freezer. Otherwise, the lemongrass will go bad before then.
To keep the lemongrass lasting for up to 3 months, it needs to be either stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure the item for storage is suitable for freezer usage. These storage items are able to withstand the freezing temperature of the freezer without breaking.
After 3 months, lemongrass will still be safe to use, but the quality of it will deteriorate. Lemongrass is known for its intense citrus fragrance. For that reason, that fragrance will no longer be that strong after that time.
Therefore, lemongrass should be consumed within 3 months for the best result.
How Do You Defrost Lemongrass?
Defrosting the lemongrass will depend on what you’ll be using it for. If you’ve frozen it as an ice cube, there’s no need to thaw them first. For cooking curry or stir-fry, simply take the lemongrass cube from the freezer and toss them directly in the pan while it’s being cooked. The lemongrass will thaw out in a minute and release that strong citrus sense that it’s known for.
If you’ve frozen lemongrass as a whole, you’ll want to let it thaw first. Take the amount of lemongrass from the freezer and place them in a bow. Set it on the countertop for about 30 minutes. After that, use a roller pin and bash the lemongrass a few times to release the moisture. Then place them in the stew, soup, or stir-fry while it’s being cooked.
Can you freeze lemongrass leaves?
Yes, you can freeze lemongrass leaves. Simply cut the leaves into smaller pieces so that they’ll fit in the storage container. It’s best to use an airtight container or freezer bag that’s suitable for freezer usage. Place the lemongrass leaves in the container and seal them tight. You should be able to freeze the leaves for up to 3 months. After that, the fragrance will start to deteriorate slowly from the leaves.
Can you freeze lemongrass paste?
Yes, you can freeze lemongrass paste. If you’ve bought them from the grocery stores, transfer the paste to an airtight container or freezer bag. The original package isn’t designed to withstand the freezing temperature of the freezer. It will start to break and leak during freezing.
If you’re using an airtight container, leave about half an inch of space at the top. This will allow room for the lemongrass paste to expand during freezing.