Cilantro is a herb that has immense health benefits. It has vitamins A, C, and K. It can be used as a garnish or as an ingredient in various dishes.
Cilantro has a high amount of water content. If kept outside, the warm air will absorb moisture from the cilantro. That is why cilantro wilts within a short span of time, which results in having to throw it away. But you can easily extend its shelf life by keeping the cilantro at a temperature lower than room temperature.
This article will discuss how to store fresh cilantro in more detail, which will help in keeping cilantro fresh for a more extended period.
Table of Contents
How To Store Cilantro In Fridge?
- Try To Buy Fresh CilantroIt’s very important to buy fresh cilantro that has not wilted or has any yellow leaves. Fresh cilantro can be purchased at your local supermarket or a farmer’s market.
- Wash The Cilantro With Cold WaterStart by trimming the stems, and then wash the cilantro thoroughly with cold water and some vinegar. Try to keep the cilantro leaves in cold water for a few minutes. It will remove all the dust and dirt.
- Dry The LeavesUse paper towel to dry the leaves. Your leaves should be completely dry as some residue water can rot the entire herb.
- Use An Airtight Container For StorageUse an airtight container and place some paper towels inside it. Place the dry cilantro inside the container, and then add paper towels on top. Then close the lid.
- Keep The Air Tight Container In FridgeStore the airtight container in the fridge. This process can prolong the shelf life of cilantro for at least two weeks. Paper towels are necessary for the airtight container as they will create a moist environment for the cilantro.
How To Store Cilantro In Freezer?
When you freeze cilantro, you can extend its shelf life for several months. However, the leaves will not remain fresh. So you cannot use them for garnishing, but you can use them as an ingredient in several dishes.
There are two methods to store cilantro in a freezer. But both methods involve cleaning the leaves of cilantro properly in cold water in order to remove all the dust followed by drying. You need to dry the leaves thoroughly with a paper towel.
The first method involves freezing cilantro in a cubical form. You need to grind the cilantro with a food processor or mixer along with adding some water or olive oil. Then pour the mixture into an ice tray and freeze it.
Once it freezes, remove the cubes from the ice tray and put them in a plastic seal bag. Then put the bag of cubes in the freezer. You can add these cubes to juice, soups, or your favorite dishes, which enhances the flavor of your beverages or meals.
The second method involves putting the leaves of cilantro in a freezer bag. First, take out all the leaves from the stem of the cilantro. Your leaves should be dehydrated.
Then, you need to take two freezer bags and place one freezer bag inside the other. Put the dry leaves of cilantro inside the inner bag and then seal tightly. Then keep the freezer bag inside the freezer. Whenever you need leaves, remove some leaves from the bag and then put it back in the freezer.
How To Cut Cilantro
First, I would start by thoroughly washing the cilantro to remove any dirt or debris. I typically do this by placing the bunch of cilantro in a large bowl of water and swishing it around a bit. This helps to dislodge any bits of soil that might be stuck to the leaves or stems. I would then take the cilantro out of the water and gently shake off any excess. I prefer to dry it by laying it out on a clean kitchen towel and patting it dry, making sure to remove as much water as possible to prevent it from getting mushy when I cut it.
After drying the cilantro, I would gather it into a bunch and hold it on a chopping board. Depending on the recipe, I might decide to include the stems or not. The stems of cilantro have a lot of flavor, so they can be used in many recipes. However, if the texture of the stems is not desirable for the particular dish I’m preparing, I would remove the leaves from the stems. To do this, I’d hold the bottom of the stem in one hand and use my other hand to gently strip the leaves off the stem from bottom to top.
If I decided to use the entire cilantro, stems included, I’d still remove any long, bottom parts of the stem that don’t have much leaf coverage. I would then gather the cilantro into a bunch and begin cutting it. I’d hold the cilantro firmly (but not so tight that it’s crushed) with my non-dominant hand and use a sharp knife in my dominant hand to slice the cilantro. I’d start at the end closest to me and slice away from my body, moving the knife in a rocking motion. This will help to cut the cilantro evenly.
When cutting, I’d make sure to use smooth and steady movements, letting the sharpness of the knife do the work. Depending on how finely chopped I want the cilantro to be, I may go over the chopped bunch a few times.
After chopping the cilantro to my desired size, I would either use it immediately in my recipe or store it in the refrigerator if I’m not using it right away. It’s worth noting that cilantro tends to lose its flavour relatively quickly after being cut, so it’s generally best to cut it close to when you plan to use it.
How To Store Cut Cilantro?
- Clean The Cilantro ThoroughlyOnce you purchase cilantro from the market, cut the ends of the cilantro with a knife and then clean with cold water.
- Dry The LeavesDry the leaves thoroughly with a paper towel or leave them to dry.
- Use Container Filled With WaterUse a container or a bowl filled with water. Then put the cilantro in the water such that all the stems are fully submerged while the leaves are exposed above the water surface.
- Cover Cilantro With Plastic BagTake a plastic bag or polythene and cover the top of the cilantro. But do not tighten it with a rubber band.
- Keep The Container In FridgeKeep the glass bowl or container with cilantro in the fridge. You will observe that this process will increase the shelf life of cilantro.
- Change The Water PeriodicallyThe water becomes discolored after a few days, which may affect the shelf life of cilantro. So you need to change the water within two to three days.
How To Store Chopped Cilantro?
- Clean And Dry CilantroThe first step is to clean the cilantro properly in water. Then you need to dry the leaves properly because moisture on the leaves can wilt or rot the cilantro within a short time.
- Chop CilantroChop the dry cilantro leaves with a knife.
- Use an Airtight ContainerPlace some paper towels in an airtight container. Then place the dry chopped cilantro leaves on the paper towel, and then above the leaves, place some more paper towels. Then close the lid.
- Keep The Airtight Container In FridgeKeep the container frozen. Check it periodically. If you see any yellow leaves, then discard them immediately.
Cilantro has many health benefits. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduces weight, and is good for our vision, immune system, etc…. Cilantro also helps in enhancing the flavor of any dish or drink. You need to store cilantro properly to improve its shelf life.
I hope this article has guided you on how to store fresh cilantro.
Comment below your suggestions on cooking with cilantro!
What is the best way to store fresh cilantro to maintain its freshness?
To store fresh cilantro, rinse the leaves under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a towel to remove as much water as possible. Next, trim the ends of the stems. Fill a jar or glass with an inch of water, place the cilantro in it like a bouquet, and make sure the ends of the stems are submerged. Cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag or wrap and store in the refrigerator. The cilantro should last up to two weeks, just make sure to change the water every few days.
Can you freeze cilantro, and if so, how does that affect its flavour and texture?
Yes, you can freeze cilantro, although it may slightly alter its texture, making it softer and less crunchy. However, it retains much of its original flavour. The best way to freeze cilantro is to wash it, pat dry, chop it up, and place it in an ice cube tray covered with water. Once frozen, the cubes can be transferred to a freezer bag for long-term storage. These cilantro cubes can be directly added to your soups, stews, or other dishes while cooking.
How can you tell if your stored cilantro has gone bad?
If your stored cilantro has changed colour from bright green to dark brown or black, developed a slimy texture, or has a foul, off smell, it has likely gone bad and should be discarded.