This Is How You Prolong The Freshness Of Green Onions, Leeks, Etc

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It's common in home kitchens. You just need a little bit of some green onions as that essential topping for your egg lugaw dish. However, since you buy it by the bundle, you almost always have more than you actually need. 

So, what do you do with the excess fresh herbs? You store it of course! But, are you doing it right? 

You're not alone when it comes to wondering how to keep these herbs from wilting before you need them again. What you probably know is that you need to store it in a jar with water then put the jar in the refrigerator. That should do the trick right? 

For green onions, leeks, scallions, and other herbs like these, the best way to store these herbs is to do this. If however, you're keeping the herbs for longer than one to two days, you have to change the water regularly, too. This is probably the one tip that many forget or fail to do when storing herbs. The water needs to be changed because not only will the water become stale but it can also make algae start to grow and even bacteria. Changing the water every other day is a great way to make that plant thrive! 


This is a great universal guide for storing some but not all herbs. Did you know that you don't need to store basil in the refrigerator? Basil is best stored in water in a jar on your countertop. In fact, if you can place it in by the windowsill, even better since basil loves the sun! Basil should keep for several days and up to a week stored this way. You can do this same trick for other hardy herbs such as rosemary and thyme, too. 

Need more help with other kinds of herbs? If you need more tips on storing herbs for even longer than a few days, here are four more ways to store herbs

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1 Store herbs in water but cover with plastic. 

This tip is great for herbs with delicate leaves such as cilantro, parsley, mint, and even chives. This is like creating a mini greenhouse for these plants. It retains moisture but also helps the plants stay fresher by creating their own environment under the plastic. 

Photo by Riell Santos

2 Freeze in water or oil. 

The herbs stored in ways can be stored as long as needed! Chop herbs as desired and then place in an ice cube tray. Pour in broth, water, or oil, and then freeze. Transfer the frozen cubes to a plastic bag and use a cube or two into your pot or pan as needed. 


3 Roll in damp paper towels. 

Another way to keep herbs longer is to store hardy herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and tarragon in slightly damp thick paper towels. This is similar to the trick to keeping lettuce leaves fresh longer, too. Place in a resealable bag, wrap with plastic wrap, or place in containers. Store in the refrigerator. 

Photo by Shutterstock

4 Make pesto. 

The best trick to cutting time and effort in the kitchen that also helps preserve herbs is to make pesto. These are instant flavor boosters and it's easy to make if you have a food chopper or blender. The oil will keep the herbs from turning brown plus seasons it so you're creating an ingredient you can easily add to dishes. You can even use different kinds of herbs together, not just basil! 

Got an herb? Here are more articles on how to store them according to the best practices: 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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