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fresh cilantro and stems
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5 from 3 votes

How to prep & store fresh cilantro

Best way to store cilantro so it stays fresh for weeks
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Drying Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Meal Preparation
Cuisine: Indian

Equipment

Ingredients

  • fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Cilantro has high water content and if not stored properly can quickly go bad. If you do not have time, here is the quickest method that will keep your cilantro fresh for at least a week. Pick out any browned, yellow leaves from the bunch and discard. Wrap the herb in paper towel, put it in a produce bag, and store it upright in the door compartment of the fridge
  • If you can spend a little more time prepping the cilantro it is easy to have freshest cilantro by extending its shelf life for up to 3 weeks. There are a couple of methods I have tried and tested for prepping and storing cilantro. 
    First, if your cilantro bunch has roots, chop them off and discard. Pick out any browned or wilted cilantro and discard
  • Then rinse the cilantro really well under cold running water 2 to 3 times or until it is free of grit
  • Place the cilantro in a strainer and drain most of the water out. You can also gently shake off the leaves to help remove excess water
  • Next, picking up individual plants by their stems, spread them on kitchen towels. Take as much space as you need making sure they are not overlapping too much
  • During this process pick out any yellow or brown leaves and discard them
  • Pat dry excess moisture with paper towels. At this point you have 2 options to store the cilantro:
  • Option 1 is to keep refrigerated in a glass of water using following steps:
  • Trim the bottom stems of cilantro
  • Place the dry cilantro leaves upright in a cup filled with cold water
  • Next, cover the leaves with a clear plastic produce bag and secure with a rubber band or knot the ends of the bag togther
  • Keep the cup in the refrigerator door and check every 4-5 days. Change the water as needed. This method will ensure that your herb stays fresh for 2-3 weeks
  • Option 2 is to chop the cilantro leaves and refrigerate 
  • This works great if you use cilantro in your every day cooking as the chopped cilantro is super convenient to use and lasts for weeks
  • Clean and spread the cilantro on kitchen towels. Leave out to dry for 1 - 3 hours or untill all the water has completely dried off. Cut the stems and freeze for extended shelf life or keep refrigerated in an airtight container lined with paper towels. These stems can be used to make chutneys, soups or broths
  • Next, coarsely chop the leaves. Note: Make sure the cilantro has no moisture and they should not stick to your hands while chopping
  • Loosely place the chopped leaves in a paper towel lined container. Cover with another paper towel and refrigerate

Option 3 using a raw egg

  • This is the latest cilantro storing idea I learnt from my foodie friends over on Instagram. Pick out any browned, yellow leaves from the bunch and discard. Pat dry the cilantro with paper towels, no need to wash. Loosely keep the cilantro in an airtight container or a herb storage container with a raw egg. The porus shell of egg helps absorb excess moisture keeping the cilantro fresh for 4 to 6 weeks. Make sure to keep checking every week and picking out any yellow/brown leaves. Also make sure to disard the eggs after you have used up the cilantro.

Video

Notes

MOC Pro Tips:
  • Make sure to dry the cilantro really well so that all of the excess moisture from cilantro is dried off. This is a key step to prevent your cilantro from going bad
  • Do not discard the stems, freeze for extended shelf life or keep refrigerated in an airtight container lined with paper towels. These stems can be used to make chutneys, soups or broths
  • Check every 4-5 days, pick our and discard any yellow or brown leaves
  • Does your refrigerated cilantro look wilted? Put it in ice cold water for 5 minutes and see it magically crisp up and look as fresh as the day it was bought
How to air dry cilantro at home and keep it for months
  1. Place a cooling rack on top of a kitchen towel. Trim the thicker stems of the cilantro and line the cilantro on the rack
  2. Air dry for 5 days or until the leaves and the stems are completely dry and crisp 
  3. Place the dried cilantro in an airtight jar