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Storing Tamarind Paste

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Quick question: I bought a block of tamarind for the first time this weekend. Once I start using it, how do I store the block? Can I still keep it in my pantry after I unseal it or should I refrigerate it in a jar? I worry that placing in the refrigerator would just make it harder but leaving it out might attract ants or let it spoil. How do you store your tamarind block?

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  1. I keep my tamarind paste in the pantry. It has a seal inside the twist-on lid which works fairly well to keep pests out.

    1. Mine is just well wrapped and in a cupboard. It is the same chunk I have been using for a couple of years.

      1. Thanks to the both of you! I'll keep it in my pantry in a zip lock baggie. Candy, sounds like they have a long shelf life. But mines just cost $3 so I'm not too worried about using it up. thanks again!

        2 Replies
        1. re: singleguychef

          Id tend to say it sort of depends - if you are talking about whole tamarind mushed together into a block, I would leave it in the cupboard, wrapped, only if it is the dry version. If it is the moist, version, I would wrap it well in a bag and put it down into the crisper of the refrigerator. Will last there indefinitely without spoiling. What you can also do is process more of the tam than you need in a particular recipe and freeze the extra extract. It is then very convenient and better than the tamcon stuff.

          If you are talking about the tamcon-type tamarind paste, I have always refrigerated. It will mold eventually, even in the refrig.

          1. re: jen kalb

            You know, I've seen alot of confusion with whether something bought was a paste or just a block. That's why when I initially posted this question, I was a bit vague and said paste block because I wasn't sure. But now after hearing your description and checking my block at home, I have to say it's probably more like what you're describing which is whole tamarind mushed together because it seems a bit moist and I actually see bits of tamarind seeds. Of course, everything's in Thai except for the shipping and packaging information. So looks like it's the frig for me! :)

        2. Mine is wrapped in plastic, inside a zip top bag in my refridge. It has been there for almost a year and still seems fine. BTW~ it is wet sticky full of seeds etc....a true paste.

          1. Thank you - here I am on CH 4+ years later your original post and I have the answer to my question. Bon Apetit!