Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. Apart from using it in salads and sauces, you can even use cilantro to season your drinks and desserts. However, one of the common problems with the use of cilantro is that it does not last for long.
Why Is Cilantro So Hard to Preserve?
Cilantro is a delicate herb that is sensitive to changes in temperature, light, and humidity. It has a high water content, which makes it prone to wilting and rotting. Additionally, cilantro has a unique aroma and flavor that can be difficult to preserve without altering its taste.
Once cilantro leaves are chopped or torn from the stem, they tend to lose their flavor and aroma very quickly. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can preserve cilantro for longer so you can enjoy it more often.
If you want to store your Cilantro so it stays fresh and flavorful for longer than usual, here are 7 tips on how you can do that:
While still on the stems, one of the easiest ways to keep cilantro fresh is to store it in water.
To do this, trim the ends of the stems and place the cilantro in a jar or glass of water like you would a bouquet of flowers.
Cover the cilantro loosely with a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days, and your cilantro should last for up to two weeks.
Keep cilantro in an airtight container
Cilantro is very sensitive to changes in its environment. If the level of moisture in the air is too high, it can spoil faster than expected. Therefore, if you want your cilantro to stay fresh for longer, the first thing you should do is keep it in an airtight container.
Keeping your cilantro in an airtight container will help you maintain the ideal level of humidity for a longer period of time. But make sure to wash the leaves before putting them in an airtight container.
You can also let them dry before you put them in the container. This way, water won’t collect inside the container, causing your cilantro to spoil even faster.
Store it in the fridge
Cilantro grows best in a cool and dry environment. But once you chop the herb, it begins to release water. This can make the flavor go bad very quickly. Therefore, if you want to protect your cilantro, you should store it in the fridge.
Putting your cilantro in the fridge will help it remain fresh and tasty for a longer time. However, you should note that storing cilantro in the fridge will not preserve its crispness for long. Therefore, you should use it as soon as possible after chopping it.
You can also use it in cooked dishes since the warmth from the food will help keep the leaves from wilting.
Use a damp paper towel
If you want your cilantro to last longer, you can try wrapping it in a damp paper towel. This method is ideal if you only use a bit of cilantro at a time. However, it might not be suitable if you use a lot of cilantro in your cooking.
Once you’re done using the cilantro, you should wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, place them in a plastic bag, and store them in the fridge.
This method will protect the leaves from losing their flavor and aroma. It will also help keep them fresh for a few days. If you want to use this method, make sure that you change the paper towels often to keep them fresh.
Freezing cilantro is another way in which you can preserve it for a longer period of time. Freezing cilantro will not only help you keep it fresh for a long time, but it will also preserve its texture and taste.
You can freeze cilantro in different ways, such as blending it and then freezing it in ice cubes, chopping it and then freezing it in small freezer bags, and freezing it in water. You can use frozen cilantro in different dishes.
The only thing you need to do is defrost it before using it in order to get the same texture and taste. However, you should note that freezing cilantro might change its taste slightly when you thaw it out.
Dry it and store in an airtight container
If you want to store cilantro for a long time, you can dry it and then store it in an airtight container. Drying cilantro helps preserve its freshness for longer.
This method is ideal for people who use large amounts of cilantro.
Dry cilantro in an open area with a moderate level of humidity and sunlight. This will help to extract its moisture and accelerate the process of dehydration.
Once the leaves are completely dry, put them in an airtight container and store them in a dry and dark place.
This method will help preserve your cilantro for many years.
Canning cilantro is another way in which you can preserve it for a long time. To can cilantro, you need to chop it, blanch it in boiling water, and then pour it into a jar.
This method will not only help you preserve the cilantro, but it will also increase its shelf life. However, you should note that the cilantro will lose its bright color when you use this method. Therefore, you should use it for cooking or as a garnish since it will not be suitable to eat as a side dish.
How to Dry Cilantro
Another way to preserve cilantro is to dry it. Here are two methods for drying cilantro:
Tie the cilantro stems together and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place, such as a kitchen or pantry. Make sure there is good air circulation around the cilantro.
Leave the cilantro to dry for a few days or until the leaves are dry and brittle. Once the cilantro is dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store them in an airtight container.
If you want to dry cilantro quickly, you can use your oven. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius).
Wash and pat dry the cilantro leaves, then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven and leave the door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape.
Leave the cilantro in the oven for 1-2 hours or until it is dry and crumbly.
- Can you freeze cilantro without blanching it? Yes, you can freeze cilantro without blanching it. Chop the cilantro finely and freeze it in an ice cube tray with water or stock.
- How long does cilantro last in the fridge? Cilantro can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator if stored properly.
- How do you revive wilted cilantro? To revive wilted cilantro, trim the ends of the stems and place the cilantro in a jar or glass of water. Cover it loosely with a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Can you dry cilantro in the microwave? While you can technically dry cilantro in the microwave, it is not recommended, as the heat can cause the leaves to scorch and lose their flavor.
- Can you preserve cilantro without oil? Yes, you can preserve cilantro without oil by drying it or freezing it.
- Can you store cilantro in vinegar? While it is possible to store cilantro in vinegar, it may alter the taste of the herb. It is better to store cilantro in water or a plastic bag.
- Can you preserve cilantro in the fridge? Yes, you can preserve cilantro in the fridge by storing it in water, in a plastic bag, or in a plastic container with a damp paper towel.
- Can you use frozen cilantro in recipes? Yes, you can use frozen cilantro in recipes. Simply thaw the cilantro cubes and use them as you would fresh cilantro.
- How do you store cilantro for a long time? The best way to store cilantro for a long time is to freeze it or dry it. You can also store cilantro in oil, but it will only last for a few weeks in the fridge.
- How can you tell if cilantro is bad? Cilantro that is bad will have a musty or rotten smell and will be slimy or discolored. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the cilantro and start fresh.