Can You Freeze Thai Basil?

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By Ross Young

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With a slightly spicier taste than regular basil, Thai basil is a popular herb for many Asian dishes, as you would expect from its name! But, if you grow Thai basil at home, how should you preserve it through winter?

Can You Freeze Thai Basil?

Yes, you can freeze Thai basil for up to 6 months. Blanching isn’t essential but can help retain some of its colour and flavour. The other option is to use an ice cube tray.

Does Thai Basil Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Thai Basil? Yes

How to Freeze Thail Basil

Depending on who you ask, there are countless ways to freeze Thai basil and other herbs. Some people swear by blanching the basil before transferring it to the freezer. While this is, of course, an option, we don’t think it’s necessary.

Below is a way of freezing your Thai basil so you can add it to your recipes all year round:

  1. Wash and Dry: Place your Thai basil leaves in a sieve and rinse well under the cold tap. Transfer them to a paper towel and pat them until the excess water is removed from the surface of the leaves. Place them on fresh paper towels and leave them on the countertop to dry.
  2. Lay Out on Greaseproof Paper: Once dry, lay your Thai basil leaves on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Space them out so they aren’t touching one another. Depending on your leaves, you might need to use more than one layer of paper.
  3. Freeze Until Firm: Transfer the leaves into the freezer until they are firm. This usually takes around twelve hours.
  4. Remove and Transfer to a Bag Once the initial freezing process has been completed, take the leaves out of the freezer, and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag.
  5. Label and Return to the Freezer: Once your leaves are inside the bag, press out as much air as possible before sealing. Write the use-by date (6 months from the time you initially freeze them) as well as ‘Thai basil’ on the bag, and return to the freezer.

How to Freeze Thai Basil By Blanching

As many people insist on blanching Thai basil before freezing it, we have included the instructions below, should you wish to follow the process:

  1. Wash and Dry: Place your Thai basil leaves in a sieve or colander and rinse well under the cold tap. Transfer them to a paper towel and pat them until the excess water is removed from the surface of the leaves. Place them on fresh paper towels and leave them on the countertop until they are dry.
  2. Prepare Water: Bring a pot of water to the boil, and fill another bowl with ice and cold water. Leave on the side.
  3. Place Leaves In a Colander; Place your washed, and dried Thai basil leaves in a colander that easily fits into the pot. Dip the basil leaves in the colander into the boiling water for no more than five seconds.
  4. Transfer Leaves to an Ice Bath: Once you’ve dipped your basil leaves, you need to transfer them to the ice bath straight away. You should then pat them dry as best you can after leaving them to soak in the ice bath for a short while.
  5. Freeze Until Firm: Transfer the leaves into the freezer until they are firm. This usually takes around twelve hours.
  6. Remove and Transfer to a Bag: Once the initial freezing process has been completed, take the leaves out of the freezer, and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag.
  7. Label and Return to the Freezer: Once your leaves are inside the bag, press out as much air as possible before sealing. Write the use-by date (6 months from the time you initially freeze them) as well as ‘Thai basil’ on the bag, and return to the freezer.

As you can see, it’s much more labour intensive, but blanching helps to preserve the colour of the basil leaves and stops them from turning brown when in the freezer.

How to Freeze Thai Basil in Ice Cubes

This is probably the best know approach to take when freezing any herbs. Follow the instructions above to clean and dry the Thai basil. Then pack the basil into an ice cube tray before topping up with olive oil, melted butter or even water.

Freeze and then when you want a hit of Thai basil in your cooking, grab a cube and pop it into a pan.

Frozen Thai Basil Cubes

3 Tips for Freezing Thai Basil

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing Thai basil to have the best results:

Thoroughly Dry
You need to ensure your Thai basil leaves are dry before freezing. If you blanch your leaves beforehand, you can use a spin dryer to remove excess liquid from the surface of the leaves before placing them in the freezer.

Freeze Instantly
It’s possible to freeze Thai basil leaves without freezing them individually; you can simply place them straight into a freezer-safe bag to save yourself time. However, they will freeze together as a clump and are likely to rip when it comes to defrosting, so just bear this in mind if you want to freeze them quickly.

Try Growing It
In most supermarkets, you can buy pre-frozen herbs like Thai basil. While it undeniably saves you time, it’s not as enjoyable as growing your own and preserving it for use throughout the year.

How Long Can You Freeze Thai Basil?

You can freeze Thai basil for around six months.

This is helpful to know if you grow your own basil, as it’s difficult to grow when the weather changes in the winter.

How Long Does Thai Basil Last in the Fridge?

If the packaging is unopened, then Thai basil will keep for 1 week in the fridge. If opened, Thai basil will keep for around 4 days when wrapped in a kitchen towel and stored in a resealable bag.

How Do You Defrost Thai Basil?

The best way to defrost Thai basil is to take it out of the freezer the night before you plan to use it.

Place it in the refrigerator until it thaws, and then it will be good to use. Many recipes allow you to use Thai basil straight from frozen, so check your recipe beforehand as you might be able to save yourself some time.

Can You Refreeze Thai Basil?

Once thawed, it’s perfectly safe to refreeze Thai basil that has been defrosted in the refrigerator.

Just be mindful that the basil’s texture, colour, and overall flavour will deteriorate the more you freeze and refreeze it, so try and only take out of the freezer the right amount each time.

Does Thai Basil Freeze Well?

Thai basil freezes extremely well. Some people report that the leaves occasionally turn brown if left in the freezer for too long, but blanching it beforehand will help to prevent this.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing Thai basil or basil in general, then these may help:

What is the Best Way to Store Thai Basil?

This depends on how long you want to store it. The fridge is the best option if you are only storing it for a few days. If you need to store it for longer, then you’ll need to freeze it.

Can You Freeze Unopened Thai Basil?

If you have bought a packet of Thai basil from the store then we would advise removing the Thai basil from the packet before freezing it, otherwise you’ll need to thaw the whole packet.

1 thought on “Can You Freeze Thai Basil?”

  1. “You need to ensure your Thai basil leaves are dry before freezing”


    Follow the instructions above to clean and dry the Thai basil. Then pack the basil into an ice cube tray before topping up with olive oil, melted butter or even water”

    This doesn’t make any sense. Why bother drying it to just put it in an ice cube tray with water in it.

    Reply

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