Preserving Freshness: The Complete Guide to Freezing Lemongrass

Can you freeze lemongrass? – The Complete Guide

Lemongrass is a popular ingredient in many Asian recipes, known for its unique citrus flavor and aroma. However, fresh lemongrass doesn’t stay fresh indefinitely, so many people wonder if it can be frozen to extend its shelf life. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of freezing lemongrass, including the different parts that can be frozen, preparation methods, freezing techniques, storage tips, and more.

Can you freeze lemongrass?

Yes, lemongrass can be effectively frozen, allowing you to have this essential ingredient on hand whenever you need it. Lemongrass is a grassy plant with a citrusy flavor that resembles a green onion or thin leek. While the leaves of lemongrass are often not used in recipes, they can be used to lightly flavor broths, teas, or as a garnish. The most flavorful part of lemongrass is the lower, denser stem.

Preparing Lemongrass for Freezing

To prepare lemongrass for freezing, follow these simple steps:

  1. If your lemongrass still has leaves, remove the outermost 2-3 leaves and discard. Cut off the remaining leaves where they begin to separate from the stem. If you want to keep the leaves, separate them from the stem.
  2. Lemongrass freezes best if chopped, minced, or pureed before freezing. Think about how you are most likely to use lemongrass in the future and prepare accordingly.
  3. If you plan to freeze the leaves as well, wash, dry, and chop them before freezing.

Freezing Lemongrass

Once the lemongrass is prepped and ready to freeze, there are several convenient methods to choose from:

  1. Individual portion packaging: Use a tablespoon to measure out the desired amount of lemongrass per serving. Wrap each portion individually in plastic wrap, then place them together in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container for added protection.
  2. Ice cube tray method: Place a layer of plastic wrap over an ice cube tray and fill each depression with a serving of prepared lemongrass. Cut the plastic between each filled cube and seal each serving tightly. Store the individually wrapped servings in a freezer-safe container.
  3. Vacuum seal: Spread out individual servings in a bag to be vacuum sealed. Use a vacuum sealer to remove air and seal the bag, leaving enough space between each serving size to easily cut a serving without breaking the seal.

If you plan to freeze the leaves, just make sure they are clean and dry before storing them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.

Freezing Whole Lemongrass Stems

While it’s possible to freeze lemongrass stems whole, it’s important to note that they may lose their firm texture. If you intend to chop or mince the lemongrass for future recipes, it is recommended that you use one of the above methods of preparation. However, if you plan to use the lemongrass in larger pieces, such as for cooking in a broth, you can freeze it whole.
To freeze whole lemongrass stems:

  1. Make sure the lemongrass is clean and thoroughly dry.
  2. Trim the stems to fit neatly in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
  3. Fill the bag with the lemongrass, removing excess air before sealing tightly.

As long as the stems are completely dry when frozen, they should not stick together, so you can remove individual stems as needed.

How long can you freeze lemongrass?

When frozen using the recommended methods, lemongrass can retain its best quality for up to 6 months. After this time, the flavor and aroma may begin to degrade, although it is still safe to consume. Using a vacuum-sealing machine can extend the freshness of lemongrass, with the flavor and aroma potentially lasting for at least 1 year.

Storing Lemongrass

If you have a small amount of lemongrass that you plan to use within 2 weeks, it can be stored in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. How to store lemongrass properly:

  1. Wrap the lemongrass to protect it from the drying air in the refrigerator.
  2. Ziploc bags work well for storing lemongrass. Trim the stems to avoid bending or breaking them when placing them in the bag.
  3. Harvest or purchase the best quality lemongrass available to ensure optimal flavor and fragrance.

Lemongrass Quality and Appearance

The quality of lemongrass can vary, and it’s important to choose fresh, high-quality lemongrass for freezing. Look for stems that are firm, with a vibrant green color and a strong citrus aroma. Avoid lemongrass that appears wilted, brown, or dull in color.

Using frozen lemongrass

When you’re ready to use frozen lemongrass, there’s no need to thaw it first. You can add frozen lemongrass directly to your recipes, whether it’s a broth, curry, stir-fry, or tea. The freezing process helps break down the cell walls, intensifying the flavor and aroma of lemongrass, making it even more potent than fresh lemongrass in some cases.

Alternative uses for frozen lemongrass

In addition to using frozen lemongrass in cooking, you can also use it in other ways:

  1. Lemongrass tea: Steep a piece of frozen lemongrass in hot water to make a refreshing and aromatic tea.
  2. Lemongrass infused oil: Add frozen lemongrass to a bottle of oil, such as olive or coconut oil, and let it infuse for several weeks. The oil will absorb the flavors and aromas of the lemongrass, which can then be used in various culinary applications.
  3. Lemongrass Bath Soak: Tie a bundle of frozen lemongrass together and add it to your bathwater for a soothing and aromatic experience.

Bottom Line

Freezing lemongrass is an excellent way to preserve its flavor and aroma for an extended period of time. By properly preparing and packaging lemongrass before freezing, you can ensure its quality and convenience in your culinary endeavors. Whether you’re using lemongrass in broths, curries, teas, or other creative applications, having frozen lemongrass on hand allows you to add a burst of citrusy goodness to your dishes whenever you want. Experiment with different freezing methods and explore the versatility of frozen lemongrass in your culinary adventures.


Can you freeze lemongrass?

Yes, lemongrass can be frozen for long term storage to maintain its freshness and flavor.

How do you prepare lemongrass for freezing?

To prepare lemongrass for freezing, wash it thoroughly and trim off the root end and any tough outer layers. Then chop or slice the lemongrass into the desired size or shape.

Should I blanch lemongrass before freezing it?

Blanching lemongrass before freezing is not necessary as it can be frozen raw. However, blanching can help preserve its vibrant color and texture.

What is the best way to store frozen lemongrass?

The best way to store frozen lemongrass is in an airtight container or freezer bag. Be sure to label the container with the date of freezing for easy reference.

How long can I store frozen lemongrass?

Frozen lemongrass can be stored for up to 6 months to 1 year without significant loss of flavor or quality. However, it is best to use it within the first 6 months for best results.

How do you thaw frozen lemongrass?

To thaw frozen lemongrass, transfer the desired amount from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight. Alternatively, you can add frozen lemongrass directly to your recipes during cooking.