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JAZ

Curry paste

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I don't use Thai curry pastes often, but I bought a container of red curry paste for satay sauce, and now I have a lot leftover. I figure I can freeze it, but I'm wondering if I could just refrigerate it instead. How long does it keep in the fridge? If I freeze it, I guess I'd be best off freezing it in ice cube trays. Is that the best way to store it?


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
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jzimmerman@eGullet.org
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Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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I store it in a plastic zip bag pressed flat and then frozen. When I need some I can easily break it off. I would never compare frozen to freshly pounded, but I do not find much difference once the canned paste is frozen and re-used.

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Curry paste lasts a long time in the refrig. - maybe 6 months... I've had some in there for even longer, but my fridge is really cold (on the cusp of freezing) - but it does lose something after several months...

You can definitely freeze it with no real loss of quality... typically, I use it in incrememnts of tablespoons - so you can scoop a bunch of tablespoons onto a sheet pan with wax paper and freeze... then, once frozen, put the frozen tablespoons in a zip lock bag...

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It will keep forever in the fridge. Keeps for months in the cupboard. The big containers are so much cheaper.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I keep mine in the fridge, and it seems to work out fine. I go through a tub about every three months, and it doesn't seem to be a problem.

When I did a cooking class in Thailand, the teacher recommended that if we purchased things like galangal, chilis, kaffir lime leaves, etc. in large quantities from an Asian market, we could freeze them whole divvied up in packets, then make curry paste fresh-from-frozen as needed. I've never tried this, since I have never lived anywhere where I could get fresh galangal or kaffir lime leaves - however I have seen them being sold frozen at import markets, so they can't degrade too much that way.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I have another question. The paste I bought (Mae Ploy brand) came in a plastic tub, but in a plastic bag inside the tub. Should I empty the paste from the bag to the tub, or does it make a difference?


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I have another question. The paste I bought (Mae Ploy brand) came in a plastic tub, but in a plastic bag inside the tub. Should I empty the paste from the bag to the tub, or does it make a difference?

I leave mine in the plastic bag, inside the tub, and in the cupboard.

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Anybody know of how to keep Thai basil. I know that the sweet (Harapa) turns dark once frozen. Is there another way? How about the Holy Basil? It's a problem for me as there are no shops around here selling these. :sad:

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When storing curry paste in the refrigerator (or ice cream in the freezer for that matter), it is best not to let air come into contact with the food.

Take some kitchen plastic wrap and press it flat on the surface of the paste. This will extend its life and help retain volatile fragrances.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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For the basil, it keeps better frozen when it is made into pesto but I suspect this may not help your Thai food.

Another alternative is to pickle it in brine. Check a recipe for pickled (brined) vegetables and adapt that for your basil. The only problem is that while it should retain the colour, it is going to markedly change the flavour profile.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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