Can You Freeze Lemongrass?

You want to throw together a Thai curry and the recipe asks for a stick of lemongrass… The problem is after heading to the supermarket, you discover you can only buy it in a bundle of 3 or 4 sticks so what do you do with the remaining sticks you don’t use?

The obvious answer is to store them in the freezer but can you freeze lemongrass, does it freeze well and how easy is it?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze lemongrass for around 2 months. You can either freeze it as whole stalks or you can spend a bit of time preparing it and freezing it into ice cubes that can be used directly in your cooking to add that unique lemongrass flavour to your dishes.

How to Freeze Lemongrass

When it comes to freezing lemongrass, there are two approaches you can take. You can either freeze the stalks whole, or you can freeze it ready-prepared in ice cubes.

How to Freeze Lemongrass Whole

Although not the best way to go about freezing lemongrass, it is the method that requires the least amount of time, and if you happen to use your lemongrass whole normally when cooking, then is an approach that works just fine:

  1. Peel
    Peel off the outer woody leaves as you normally would when preparing your lemongrass.
  2. Bag and Seal
    Place the stick of lemongrass into a bag and seal, squeezing as much of the air out of the bag as possible.
  3. Freeze
    Put your bag of lemongrass in the freezer.

That’s all there really is to it, thankfully. If you want the least amount of faff or find yourself pushed for time, then this is the way to go.

How to Freeze Lemongrass in Cubes

If, however, you find you have a little bit of time in the evening or at the weekend, then this is the best way to go about freezing lemongrass, and it requires your trusty ice cube tray:

  1. Peel
    Firstly, take your lemongrass stalks and remove the ends and woody outer leaves.
  2. Dice
    Next, finely dice the lemongrass or place it into a mini food processor.
  3. Portion into Ice Cubes
    Once you’ve broken the lemongrass down, place a tablespoon or two into each ice cube slot in your tray. Top up with water until the lemongrass is just submerged.
  4. Freeze
    Place your ice cube tray in the freezer and allow it to freeze overnight.
  5. Bag Up
    Once the lemongrass has frozen, remove it from the ice cube tray and place it into a bag.
  6. Final Freeze
    Return the bag to the freezer.
Don’t be shy about mixing other ingredients with your lemongrass to create mixed ice cubes that can pack a punch of flavour into any dish. Why not try adding in ginger or fresh chillies, which can also be frozen well?

3 Tips for Freezing Lemongrass

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

  • Create Flavour Cubes – You can create instant flavour cubes by mixing lemongrass with other fragrant ingredients such as ginger, garlic or herbs. Chop it all up, place it into an ice cube tray and then fill it with water. Once frozen, you can pop them out of the tray and into a bag. 
  • Avoid Freezing Whole – You can freeze lemongrass whole, but it’s not the best way to freeze it. If possible, avoid freezing it whole. 
  • Don’t Bother Defrosting – There is no need to defrost lemongrass before using it. If you have frozen it in ice cubes, drop the cube into a pan over a low heat. It will thaw in a matter of minutes. 

How Long Can You Freeze Lemongrass?

We don’t recommend freezing lemongrass for too long. If you leave it in the freezers beyond a couple of months, the intense, fragrant perfume you get from lemongrass will become more and more subtle.

Ultimately, you add lemongrass to your dishes for that perfume.

As always, make sure you label your frozen lemongrass with the date it needs to be consumed. This will prevent you from wasting it. After all, that’s why you froze it in the first place!

You Can Freeze Lemongrass for up to 2 Months

How Do You Defrost Lemongrass?

If you’ve frozen your lemongrass into ice cubes, then the great news is you do not need to defrost it.

When you’re cooking a curry or stir fry, take a lemongrass cube out of the freezer and throw it into the pan with your other ingredients. It will thaw out in a matter of minutes and give you that much-needed perfumed lemon hit.

If you’ve frozen your lemongrass whole, then you have a few options, but generally, you don’t actually need to thaw it to use it.

If you’re adding it whole to a stew or soup, give it 30-45mins to soften, bash with a rolling pin to break into the lemongrass, then place it into your pan with the other ingredients.

Can You Refreeze Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is such a delicate flavour that refreezing it is likely to degrade all the flavour, which is why we would suggest not refreezing it. Instead, freeze your lemongrass in ice cube portions so you can use a portion at a time without having to ever refreeze it.

Does Lemongrass Freeze Well?

If you only freeze your lemongrass for 6 to 8 weeks, then you’ll actually be hard pushed to notice the difference. You’re not adding lemongrass for colour or texture, but solely for that unique lemony tang it releases when cooked.

Freezing lemongrass doesn’t change the intensity of this perfume, provided that you don’t freeze it for too long.

Related FAQs

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

Can you Freeze Lemongrass and Ginger Together?

Yes! In fact, you can create your own tailor-made spice mixes and freeze them in an ice cube tray. Why not try freezing a mixture of grated ginger, grated garlic, finely diced lemongrass, diced chilli and coriander in an ice cube tray?

You could even throw all of these ingredients into a food processor.

Pop into an ice cube tray, cover with a little water and pop into a bag once frozen. Whenever you want to give your dish a hit of Thai flavours, grab a cube. You need to throw it in and allow it to melt.

Where to Buy Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is now widely available in most of the major supermarkets in the UK, thankfully. There was a time, of course, when lemongrass was quite obscure. Fancy saving a bit of money?

Then head down to your nearest Asian food store on the high street, where you’ll find the lemongrass is a fair bit cheaper.

Buy Lemongrass for Freezing

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