Speed Bento Technique: Freezing chopped herbs
Speed Tip: Pre-chop and freeze your most commonly used herbs and aromatics for when you’re cooking a dish in a hurry. I’ve got green onions (scallions or spring onions), cilantro (coriander) and parsley below. I still keep fresh herbs on hand for normal cooking, of course, but it’s nice to know I have a frozen stash when I’m running around getting ready in the morning. These are best used within three weeks, according to the Shufu no Tomo book on freezing. The green onions will come in handy when I’m making the scrambled egg purses.
To properly prepare the aromatics for freezing, first wash them thoroughly, spin dry in a salad spinner if you have one, then lightly pat with paper towels to dry thoroughly. Moisture is the enemy here as it’ll degrade flavor and make it difficult to take out a small portion of herbs at a time. Next, line small freezer containers (Tupperware, etc.) with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Chop the herbs as usual, fill the containers, cover and freeze. If you don’t have little plastic containers you can also use a freezer bag, or wrap small portions of herbs in plastic wrap to put in a freezer bag (use a straw to suck out any excess air from the bag before sealing and freezing). Don’t thaw before using, just use frozen in cooked dishes as texture will be softer than when fresh.
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