Thai basil owes its phenomenal popularity to its inimitable aroma. If you want to preserve the herbal plant by freezing, you do not necessarily have to accept a loss of taste. We explain how to do it right.
Reach into the chef’s bag of tricks – this is how blanching works
It’s an open secret that frozen herbs lose their aroma and flavor. We looked over the shoulders of experienced chefs as their practiced hand preserves the aroma in Thai basil. They push an intermediate step between harvesting and freezing. By blanching the herbs, most of the flavor is preserved. How to do it right:
- Pluck the leaves from the shoots and wash them under running water
- Place in a ladle and immerse in boiling water for 5-10 seconds
- Immediately cool in a bowl of ice water
- Spread out on kitchen paper to dry for 30-60 minutes
Freeze blanched Thai basil
After the spicy leaves have dried, freezing proceeds quickly. Lay the basil out on a baking sheet or plate to pre-freeze them in the freezer. Then put the hard-frozen herbs in a freezer bag to keep them in the freezer for 6 to 12 months.
Prepare and freeze Thai pesto perfectly
Thai basil and olive oil complement each other wonderfully to create a delicious pesto. For example, if overwintering is too time-consuming for you, use the following recipe to process the harvest surplus and freeze everything properly:
- Place the cleaned leaves in the food processor and chop
- ideally, cut off the petioles with scissors beforehand
- add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil during the process
- Pour the finished mixture into small cans and freeze
To be able to remove the frozen Thai pesto in portions, fill the mix into the compartments of an ice cube tray. A lower-calorie, but no less tasty variant uses water instead of olive oil. The result is a fresh and spicy Thai sorbet.
Ravenous snails are wild about Thai basil. if you want to harvest a supply of herbs for freezing, protect the plants in the bed and pot with coffee grounds. Simply collect and dry the coffee grounds after each brewing. Scattered all around, the grains serve as a barrier to movement and have a toxic effect on the snails.