As an expat in Singapore, there are many reasons to utilise the freezer. Staying organised and prepared food-wise reduces trips to the supermarket, expense, waste and energy. Freezing fresh flavouring ingredients, makes sense all round.
Chillies retain their colour, flavour and heat well when frozen. Place whole fresh chillies in a freezer bag or container and freeze. No blanching is required. Chop, slice or grate from frozen. Chilli can also be finely chopped and placed in ice cube trays with a little water for pre-prepared portions of flavour.
Ginger can be frozen whole, sliced or grated. Whole frozen ginger is easier to grate than fresh. The same applies for turmeric.
Garlic may be frozen whole, peeled or unpeeled. It can also be frozen in chopped form or made into a paste with a little salt and olive oil. Frozen garlic does not retain the crunch of fresh garlic, but the flavour is preserved so be sure to double bag it to prevent the odour from flavouring other items in your freezer.
Many herbs can be frozen for use in cooking. Chop them then spread out in a zip-lock bag thinly, allowing you to break off portions as required. This works particularly well for parsley but also rosemary, thyme, chives, dill, lemongrass, mint and oregano.
Pesto freezes wonderfully well. Make pesto as normal, but add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice to stop it discolouring. Open freeze in tbsp heaps on a lined baking tray till set, then bag up.
For best quality and odour protection, package flat in freezer bags to hasten freezing and make it easier to break off sections as needed. Express out the air and place bags on cookie sheets or metal pans until onions are frozen. Then, restack bags to take up less room. For most dishes, frozen onions may be used with little or no thawing.
Lemons can be juiced and frozen in ice cube trays then placed into zip lock bags.