Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm
Thai basil owes its phenomenal popularity to its inimitable aroma. If you want to preserve the herb by freezing it, you don’t necessarily have to accept a loss of flavor. We explain how to do it right.
Reaching into the chef’s bag of tricks – blanching goes like this.
It’s an open secret that frozen herbs lose aroma and flavor. We looked over the shoulders of experienced chefs to see how their practiced hand preserves the aroma in Thai basil. They slip an intermediate step between harvesting and freezing. By blanching the herbs, most of the flavor is preserved. Here’s how to do it right:
- pluck the leaves from the shoots and clean them under running water
- place them in a ladle and immerse them in boiling water for 5-10 seconds
- immediately quench in a bowl of ice water
- spread out to dry for 30-60 minutes on kitchen paper
Freeze blanched Thai basil
After the spicy little leaves have dried, freezing goes quickly. Lay out the king herbs on a baking sheet or plate to pre-freeze in the freezer. Then place the hard-frozen herbs in a freezer bag to store in the freezer for 6 to 12 months.
Thai pesto perfect to prepare and freeze
Thai basil and olive oil complement each other wonderfully to make a delicate pesto. For example, if overwintering is too much work for you, process the excess harvest according to the following recipe and freeze everything professionally:
- Fill the cleaned leaves into the food processor and chop them up
- ideally, cut off the leaf stalks with scissors beforehand
- add 1-2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil during the process
- Put the mixture into small tins and freeze them.
To remove the frozen Thai pesto in portions, pour the mix into the compartments of an ice cube tray. A lower-calorie but no less tasty version uses water instead of olive oil. The result is a fresh, spicy Thai sorbet.
Tips & Tricks
Thai basil is a favorite of voracious snails. To harvest a supply of herbs for freezing in the first place, protect the plants in the bed and pot with coffee grounds. Simply collect the coffee grounds after each brew and dry them. Sprinkled all around, the grounds act as a barrier to migration and have a toxic effect on the slugs.