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Posted on Mar 19, 2007 | 20 comments

Speed Bento Technique: Freezing chopped herbs

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.

Freezing herbs for quick cooking


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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  1. Wow I actually never knew that you can even freeze cilantro and parsley! I live alone, so everytime I get fresh herbs most of it just goes to waste and rot in my fridge. D: I must try this now!

    Thanks for your tip!

  2. Good idea, thanks!

  3. I found this post at and clicked to see more. I freeze half my herbs whenever I buy them because I live alone and they go bad quickly.

    I love the idea of quick lunches (I bring my lunch almost everyday), so I have friended you. :D

    I also would like to ask your permission to place this journal as a link in , as I think a lot of people can get some great ideas from you. Let me know!

  4. Hi Princess_Design and welcome! Yes, please go ahead and link Lunch in a Box to foodiepatootie if you think it’s a good match — it looks quite interesting and I’ll read more posts there when I have a chance. Thank you for the heads up!

  5. Yes, and if you don’t have little freezer containers, you can even put frozen green onions in an empty/dry plastic water bottle so you can just shake some out of the bottle into whatever you’re cooking…

  6. I never knew that you could freeze Cilantro, either. I always buy them (most of stores sell cilantro in bunchs), use probably 1/5 and forget about them, then find them dry and brown few weeks later. Arigato for your experiment!

  7. this helps, i tend to throw them all away >_< I can be less wasteful now :D

  8. Iya iya iya, tondemo arimasen yo! I usually try to immediately wash all of my cilantro after buying, spin it dry, wrap the whole bunch in a couple of paper towels, then put it all inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Extends the life longer than if the cilantro leaves actually touch the plastic bag (then turn into gross brown goo…).

  9. My pleasure!

  10. I think you’ll have better quality if you freeze them while they’re still fresh, before they start wilting and getting all sad. Good luck!

  11. I think I have found my new obsession.
    Though, I do have one question with freezing stuff.
    How would mustard work, as well as brushing one side of bread with salad dressing (Italian)?

  12. Oops, somehow my browser skipped back and added the comment to this post instead of the sandwich one. Sorry. =)

  13. Mustard worked fine for me, but I’d hesitate to put more liquidy condiments on bread before freezing because of texture issues once it thaws. Maybe try packing the salad dressing in a separate little container and put it on your thawed sandwich right before you eat it?

  14. That would probably work. =) Thanks!

  15. @15 from not goth: Thanks, and thanks for reading, not goth!

  16. Hi, I just found your website following through from links on LJ (I’m giffydoll on lj). I’m having heaps of fun exploring this site.

    I just wanted to add to this post, that you can also freeze chopped herbs in your icecube tray, doesn’t matter so much is water gets in as they are now in handy small portions. Once they are frozen you can remove from tray and put in a bag or larger container in your freezer :)

    Also, don’t throw away your coriander/cilantro root! My (thai) mother always freezes those wrapped up in cling film until she wants to use them in other cooking (marinades, soup, stock) etc.

  17. I didn’t get one thing

    do I actually have to leave the absorbing paper IN the container when I put it in the freezer?

  18. Wow i didn’t know you could freeze herbs. This is great. Thank you.

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