How to Keep Cilantro Fresh for Longer
There is a reason why we often buy herbs in dried form. Keeping fresh herbs fresh is not easy. They can all too quickly wither and die, even in the refrigerator. We have lots of information on how to keep meat and vegetables preserved, but it is not always as easy to know what to do with fresh herbs. Cilantro is one such herb that we may buy in a large bunch, but end up having to throw away much of it. Sometimes even more than we used.
To know how to keep your fresh herbs longer and avoid wastage, oneHOWTO shows you how to keep cilantro fresh for longer. We do so with these 7 effective storage methods and tips.
What is cilantro?
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), sometimes known as coriander in places such as the UK, is an annual herb. Every part of the plant is used in cooking. Coriander seeds are commonly purchased dried and will be used to season oil and other recipes. The stalks are also edible and can be used for flavoring, but the flat leaves are the most common.
The taste of cilantro is fresh and citrussy. However, some will perceive a soap-like flavor when they eat it. This is especially the case when it is raw. Below we show you the ways you can store fresh cilantro to keep it fresher for longer.
Before you look at how to store fresh cilantro, you can learn more by looking at our article on the health benefits of coriander.
Herb preserver to keep cilantro fresh
An herb preserver will be of great help to keep the cilantro fresh for longer. You can find this device in aromatic herb stores, department stores and online. Used correctly, it will help you keep fresh products, such as basil, parsley and cilantro, for about 3 weeks. There are different types of herb preserves, but they are generally plastic or glass tubes.
Not sure how a herb preserver works? At oneHOWTO we explain it to you using these pointers:
- Contains water in the base to keep the cilantro green.
- To prevent air or any contaminating element from entering the container, it has a transparent capsule that blocks it.
- Allows you to preserve cilantro and other herbs vertically without having to be crushed.
- Change the water in the base every 3 days for it to work properly.
How to store cilantro with salt
If you wonder how you can store cilantro in the fridge, salt is one of the best alternatives to make it last longer. How is cilantro preserved with salt? You will see with these steps:
- Clean and dry the cilantro with absorbent kitchen paper.
- Chop the stems and leaves of this herb as fine as you can and mix them with salt. Add two tablespoons of salt for every half cup of this herb.
- Place the mixture in a glass container and, after covering it, store it in the fridge.
- When you want to use the cilantro salt, you will simply substitute the necessary salt in any recipe for an identical amount of this mixture, so you will provide the same amount of salt but with the touch of the cilantro flavor.
While cilantro salt will last almost indefinitely in the fridge, you can store it in a dry space.
How to store fresh cilantro in the freezer
Freezing cilantro is a good option to preserve it for longer, but you must do it correctly so that it does not spoil when freezing or thawing it. Storing it in the freezer in a sealed bag is usually not enough as it will not work well when defrosted. Follow these steps to keep fresh cilantro in the freezer:
- You must blanch the cilantro so that the decomposition enzymes die. To do this, first boil water in a pot.
- Prepare a container that contains ice water.
- When the water in the pot is boiling, add the cilantro for several seconds.
- Quickly remove the herbs from the pot and submerge them in the ice water. This way you will eliminate the heat and stop them from cooking.
- Pat the cilantro dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.
- Separate the leaves and stems of the cilantro to finish drying. Group them into small individual bunches. In this way, you can get the exact portions of cilantro that you need at a given time.
- Place the leaves in bags that close hermetically and freeze them horizontally. This keeps them as loose as possible so they do not get crushed.
Freezing the cilantro in bunches means you don't have to defrost a lot at the same time and waste what you don't need.
How to store cilantro in water
Another of the methods with which you will know how to preserve the cilantro is by soaking the stems in water. With the following steps you can see how it's done:
- Remove the stems and leaves from the cilantro bouquet and wash away any traces of soil if you see any.
- Place the cilantro on a paper towel or absorbent kitchen paper to let the leaves dry.
- Fill a glass container with water and add the cilantro, ensuring that the only stems are covered, but especially the roots if they still have them. This way they will last longer. The leaves should be above the water.
- If you are going to use the cilantro in the next few days you can leave it like this on the kitchen counter. If you want to store them for a little longer, store it in the fridge and change the water every one or two days. This way, the cilantro should stay fresh for about 2 weeks.
How to keep cilantro fresh with turmeric
Turmeric also helps clean and preserve cilantro. To use this method, you should have a glass container, a tablespoon of turmeric powder and water. Follow these steps to preserve fresh cilantro with turmeric:
- Add water to the container and add a tablespoon of turmeric.
- Put the plant in the mixture and wait for it to seep for 30 minutes.
- After this time, rinse the leaves and stems with clean water.
- Gently pat the herbs dry with a clean cloth or absorbent paper towel.
- Store this herb in the fridge in a container of clean water, making sure that the leaves are out of it and only the stems are submerged.
With this method, the cilantro will stay fresh for more than three weeks. However, you will only be able to enjoy it with recipes suited to both cilantro and turmeric. Fortunately, this still leaves you with a lot of options.
How to store fresh cilantro in ice cubes
Another option for storing frozen cilantro to preserve is to turn them into ice cubes.
- Blanch the stems and leaves of the cilantro, as we have explained before, and chop them finely.
- Put some in each of the holes in the ice cube tray.
- Fill the tray with water carefully so that the cilantro does not fall out.
- Put the ice cube tray on the freezer tray and wait for the ice cubes to solidify.
- You can easily defrost the cilantro ice cubes when you need them.
How to keep fresh cilantro by wrapping it
Finally, we advise you to keep cilantro for a week or to 10 days with this simple technique: you can wrap it in aluminum foil or a cotton cloth.
- Wash the fresh cilantro with water and pat it dry with kitchen paper.
- Lay the bouquet on a clean muslin cloth or piece of aluminum foil.
- Roll the cloth or foil vertically so that the bouquet is well covered.
- If you have left enough space, you can fold the ends so that the cilantro does not become crushed and it is better preserved.
- Store it in the fridge and you will see that it stays that way for many days.
These methods of storing fresh coriander for longer will also work for related herbs such as spirit weed or culantro. As you can keep the cilantro fresh, you can use it in many different dishes such as this recipe for cilantro sauce.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Keep Cilantro Fresh for Longer, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.