Kaffir lime leaves are a fragrant leaf from South East Asia and are a staple in their cooking. They have a very distinct citrus flavor that can completely overpower weaker herbs – it’s best to use as little as possible in your recipes so you can get the full flavor profile of your dish, not just lime.
Though, if you’ve bought way too many Kaffir lime leaves to use at once, there’s good news. You don’t have to let them wither away in the fridge. You can freeze them! They freeze very well and it can significantly extend your leaf’s shelf life.
Yes, you can freeze them. Just bag your Kaffir lime leaves in a thick freezer-safe Ziploc bag and store directly in your freezer. This will help preserve the quality and taste of your leaves.
Can Kaffir lime leaves be frozen?
Yes! You can freeze kaffir lime leaves. However, freezing them properly is very important.
If you use cheap plastic bags, or just wrap them in plastic wrap, you run the risk of air getting into the bag. Air touching your food directly is what causes freezer burn, which will completely ruin your food and make it near inedible.
Always use thick, high-quality Ziploc freezer bags to store kaffir lime leaves.
How do you store kaffir lime leaves?
The key to successfully preserving your kaffir lime leaves it to store them properly.
- Prepare the bags. These need to be thick, high-quality freezer-safe storage bags, If you opt for cheap ones or regular plastic bags, the leaves will lose a significant amount of their scent and could even get freezer burn.
- Bag your leaves. Place them into the freezer bag in an even layer, and seal them. Try to suck out as much air as possible.
- If you want to freeze portions, you’ll need to flash freeze theme on a baking tray before you bag them, so they won’t all be stuck together in one frozen leaf block.
And that’s really all there is to freezing Kaffir lime leaves.
How long do Kaffir lime leaves last frozen?
A lot of foods don’t keep frozen for longer than 3-6 months. This is not the case with Kaffir lime leaves.
If properly stored, Kaffir lime leaves can be kept frozen for around 12 months before the flavor and quality begin to decline.
You can still use them even beyond this year long window, however, you’ll likely notice a significant dip in flavor intensity. You really can just keep them indefinitely, especially if you don’t mind a slight decrease in that distinctive flavor.
Though they can be frozen indefinitely, and up to a year with full quality, it’s still good practice to label and date your leaves. If you have other frozen leaves, such as bay leaves or curry leaves, this will help you distinguish what you’ve got.
How to that frozen Kaffir lime leaves?
If you’re a bit of a lazy cook, you’ll be finding some good news here.
You don’t really need to thaw these leaves before using them.
Just grab your portion from the freezer and pop it into your recipe how you would have if it were a fresh leaf. They’re incredibly delicate and thin, and will that out immediately once introduced to heat – thus flooding your dish with their notoriously famous flavor.
Freezing Kaffir lime leaves may seem like a bad idea at first glance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Once stored properly in a freezer-safe plastic bag, you can keep your leaves frozen indefinitely with no notable loss in quality besides a dip in that distinctive flavor the kaffir leaves are famous for.