Tired of sad soggy herbs in the veggie drawer? Don’t let cilantro go to waste due to improper storage. Learn how to keep cilantro fresh.
When you’ve got a serious salsa craving, there’s nothing worse than reaching into the fridge for the cilantro and finding a brown, gummy mass of something that once bore the name of that wonderful culinary herb. Cilantro, an ingredient that adds wonderful freshness and zip to both Mexican and Asian cuisine, can wilt pretty quickly.
What’s the solution? Do you need to buy cilantro on the day you need it and then use it all up in one go?
Nope. You can keep cilantro fresh very easily in the fridge.
Why Do This
It saves money. Wasting food is akin to wasting money. Since fresh cilantro can range in cost from fifty cents to almost two dollars a bunch, depending on where you live, it’s in your best interests to get the most from that investment.
It’s delicious! I know there’s a segment of the population that doesn’t love cilantro, but for the rest of us, adding fresh cilantro to your Mexican and Asian dishes is just the ticket for adding fresh, herby flavor.
Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley or fresh coriander, is the bright green leaves and stems of the coriander plant. Some describe its aroma as soap-like, but for others it’s pungent and lively, adding flavor to Mexican, Asian, and Caribbean dishes, especially those that are highly spiced.
Choose bunches of cilantro that are brightly, evenly colored with no signs of wilting. The fragrance should be evident. Don’t buy an odorless bunch.
For years, I swore by the method of placing the bundle of herbs in a glass of water in the fridge, just like a bouquet of flowers, tented with the plastic produce bag.
However, recently, I discovered a better way.
- Wrap the bunch in paper toweling
- Store it in an airtight ziptop bag in the fridge.
Your herbs will stay fresh for at least a week, maybe even two. This is a great way to have fresh cilantro whenever you want, without having to buy it too frequently.
You can freeze chopped fresh cilantro in ice cube trays. Pack it tight and fill in the gaps with olive oil. Use as you would fresh in salsas. You can also freeze fresh basil this way.
If you don’t have refrigerator access, you can keep cilantro fresh for a few days by placing the stem ends in a glass of water as you would flowers.
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How to Keep Cilantro Fresh
- paper toweling
- ziptop freezer bag
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Wrap the cilantro, unwashed, in paper toweling and place in a ziptop bag in the fridge.
- To use: Tear off the amount you will use, rinse in cool water, pat dry, and chop.
This post was originally posted on August 14, 2009. It has been updated for content and clarity.