How To Preserve Lime Juice: The Easiest Way!
LIME JUICE IN THAI CUISINE
If you're familiar with Thai cuisine, you'll know that we use lime juice in a lot of things, ranging from soups to salads and drinks. We love its fragrance so much that some of us will go as far as saying you shouldn't replace it with anything else when cooking Thai food.
Take my mother for example --- she will never use lemon juice in her tom yum soup. I personally wouldn't either if I didn't have to, but hey, I totally get that it's easier to find lemons than limes in some places.
WHY PRESERVE IT?
But believe it or not, as much as we love lime juice in Thailand, every year there comes a time when limes are scarce and expensive and people complain as though we were in a national emergency. Yet most just pay the more expensive price or resort to the fake, cheaper alternative. All this when there's actually a really easy way to preserve lime juice and enjoy it all year round. If you're not convinced, read on!
BENEFITS OF PRESERVING LIME JUICE
- When limes are in season, they can be really cheap and you may happen to have too many on hand. If you don't use them in time or store them well, they will eventually dry out. Preserving the juice prevents them from going to waste.
- On the other hand, like mentioned above, when limes are scarce, they can be expensive. In Thailand, it could be as bad as 5-7 baht each (approx. 0.2 USD). Depending on where you live, this price might still sound cheap, but here it's considered expensive and unfortunately also when street vendors start to use less lime juice or the cheap, fake bottled version in their foods (Sad fact: If you order dishes like tom yum and som tum in Thailand in the summer, they may not be as tasty as they usually are, ha!).
- Preserved lime juice is time-saving and very easy to use. You don't have to spend a long time juicing each time you're cooking a recipe that requires a lot of lime juice. All you have to do is defrost. And the bonus is you'll also have less to clean!
HOW TO PRESERVE LIME JUICE
There are a few ways you can preserve fresh lime juice but I recommend this quick and easy one, which is to freeze it. In order to prevent your lime juice from spoiling, here's what you want to do.
- Cut your limes in half horizontally.
- Juice the limes with a juicer. I prefer to use a hand juicer because I like being able to control how hard I press. If you're also going to be using a hand juicer, be careful not to press too hard or you'll end up with bitter lime juice.
- Freeze your lime juice in ice cube trays.
- Once your lime juice is frozen, you can remove the cubes from the trays and store them in an airtight container. The juice will keep in the freezer for several months but are best used within 3-4 months.
IDEAS FOR USING LIME ICE CUBES
I use my lime juice ice cubes in my cooking, just as I normally do my freshly squeezed lime juice. Though, I especially love them in my drinks. They make that morning cup of ginger lemon tea SUPER easy. Sometimes I just add a cube to a cup of warm water and I'm all set. Also, they're a dream when I want to whip up a simple salad dressing on a busy day.
Here's a few of my recipes you can use lime juice ice cubes in:
I hope you find this post useful! If you know of other easy ways to preserve lime juice, please share them in the comments section below!