How to Store Cilantro – Coriander (chopped, fresh, in water)

Cilantro is a fresh herb that many confuse with parsley since they look quite the same, and you can preserve both almost in the same way, as you can see in the parsley storage guidelines. Anyways, here is how you can store cilantro.

If you store fresh cilantro correctly, it can last about two weeks inside the fridge. You can freeze it for 4 to 6 months or dry it for six months to a year.

Store Cilantro or Coriander

To know how to preserve cilantro properly, continue with reading.

How to keep cilantro in the fridge

As I already mentioned, just putting cilantro in the fridge is not enough; in fact, there are several ways to store cilantro in the refrigerator:

Wrap cilantro in kitchen paper

  • Step 1: Wash the cilantro.

Chop half of the stem of the cilantro, then wash it with plenty of water. Use a salad spinner to dry the cilantro. If you don’t have one, shake the cilantro and dry it with paper towels. Give it about 10 minutes outdoors to finish drying.

  • Step 2: Wrap the cilantro.

Once dried, separate the cilantro into several bunches and wrap them on paper towels. You must do two laps.

  • Step 3: Put the cilantro wrapped in an airtight bag.

Put several bunches wrapped in an airtight bag, but these should not be tights. 

  • Step 4: Tag.

On the bag, write the date of storage of the cilantro or stick a label with that information.

  • Step 5: Store the cilantro in the fridge.

Put the bag in the coldest area. This way, the cilantro can remain fresh for two weeks in the refrigerator.

You can also put the cilantro inside an airtight container, but you should not wrap it with paper towels; instead, you must line the entire container internally with those towels.

Then wash and dry the cilantro as I explained, put it inside the container, and close it. This way, the cilantro can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks

Put the cilantro in a jar with water.

A grave mistake when applying this method is to leave the cilantro at room temperature, especially if you live in a very hot region.

Cilantro is best preserved in cold and somewhat humid environments, so you should do the following:

  • Step 1: Have a container that acts as a vase.

You need a glass or container that works as a “vase” for cilantro; if it is glass, it is much better.

  • Step 2: Cut the root.

If the cilantro still has roots, cut them off. With this method, you don’t need to wash the cilantro, but you get rid of the dry leaves using your hands.

  • Step 3: Prepare the “vase.”

Put the cilantro in the glass or container and add water covering the stem. If some leaves are in contact with water, remove them too. Then you should cover the cilantro with a plastic bag, but you do not have to close it.

  • Step 4: Store the cilantro in the refrigerator.

Put this vase at the bottom of the fridge so the cilantro will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. Remember to change the water every two days.

How to freeze cilantro

Can cilantro be frozen? Yes, cilantro can freeze the cilantro; however, as with other vegetables, when cilantro thaws, its texture will not remain the same as if it were fresh.

To freeze the cilantro, you have to proceed as follows:

  • Step 1: Wash and chop the cilantro.

Get rid of the root if you still have it, then wash the cilantro with plenty of water, dry it with absorbent paper and chop it as you usually would. 

  • Step 2: Put the cilantro in airtight bags or an ice cube tray.

You can freeze cilantro in two ways. The first and simplest is to put the chopped cilantro inside several hermetic bags that you can freeze. It is advised to use several small bags to thaw the portions you need to use each time.

The other way to freeze cilantro is to use an ice cube tray, fill each cube of the tray with cilantro, cover them with water, and let it freeze.

  • Step 3: Move to another bag.

If you have used small airtight bags, put them all inside another larger bag. For ice cubes, wait for them to freeze and transfer into a freeze-resistant bag.

  • Step 4: Tag.

Write on the bag the date of freezing of the coriander.

  • Step 5: Store the cilantro in the freezer.

You may freeze cilantro for 4 to 6 months.

How to preserve chopped cilantro

If you chopped more cilantro than you thought you needed, you could save in several ways so as not to waste them. The first consists of wrapping it in paper towels and then putting it in an airtight container or bag.

The chopped cilantro will be in good condition in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. Then you can also freeze it, as I explained previously. 

How to store cilantro in oil

You can also preserve cilantro in oil, which not only keeps it for a little longer but also adds flavor, making it perfect as a dressing.

If you want to know how to keep cilantro in oil, proceed to follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Wash the cilantro.

It is vital to get rid of the root and withered leaves, wash them with plenty of water, and dry them with towels or a salad spinner.

  • Step 2: Chop the cilantro.

If you have not chopped it, you can proceed to do it, but in case it is already chopped, but you have not washed it, you can still clean it using a colander. 

  • Step 3: Dry the cilantro.

To preserve it in oil, you must dry the cilantro well. You can use a spin bol or absorbent paper for this.

  • Step 4: Prepare the bottle.

You must use a glass jar with a screw cap or airtight lid. The bottle has to be clean and very dry. There, pour the chopped cilantro and add the oil (preferably olive oil).

You should cover the cilantro entirely in oil.

  • Step 5: Tag.

After covering the bottle well, stick a label with the storage date.

  • Step 6: Store the cilantro in oil in the fridge.

Put the bottle in the coldest part of your refrigerator. This way, the oil cilantro will remain in good condition for a whole month.

How to dehydrate cilantro

One way to take advantage of cilantro and have it for a long season is to dry or dehydrate it, a great way to preserve it without needing a refrigerator. However, its flavor will not be as robust as when it is fresh. 

You can dry cilantro in several ways:

Dry the cilantro outdoors

This method requires more time than the others. Chop the root of the cilantro, then separate it into several not very robust bunches. Tie the bunches by the stems and hang them in a dark, ventilated place, preferably where not much dust accumulates.

After a week, the cilantro should already be dry. It will be smooth when you squeeze a leave and falls apart on your fingers. 

Dry the cilantro with a microwave

Once the cilantro is clean and dry, spread a bunch on paper towels. Put it in the microwave for a minute, then go doing batches of 30 seconds until it is completely dry.

Dry the cilantro with a food dehydrator

Put the food dehydrator at the lowest temperature and dehydrate for 2 to 4 hours. Once dried, carefully remove the cilantro from the equipment.

Dry the cilantro in an oven

Prepare a tray with waxed paper or a nonstick sheet and place the cilantro on top. Set the oven to the lowest temperature it supports and bake for 1 or 2 hours. Once the leaves are shattered by touching them, you can take them out.

To store dry cilantro, crush the leaves and put it inside a glass jar with an airtight or screw cap. You can place the jar in the pantry, a dark, dry, cool place for 6 to 12 months. [1]

How do you know if cilantro got bad?

It is simple to know if the cilantro is spoiled. When it is wholly withered, and its leaves are black and viscous, you have to throw it away.

On the other hand, if it smells terrible or loses all the smell that characterizes it, its shelf life has probably ended.

If there is a presence of mold, that is, black or whitish spots or lint, you have to throw away the cilantro since it is not safe to eat.

Why is cilantro spoiled?

Cilantro is a highly delicate herb. Once harvested, it begins its natural decomposition process, and its leaves will start to soften and wither.

Besides, not being in contact with the soil will no longer be nourished, so its leaves will lose color and freshness. 

Heat accelerates the decomposition process much more, so the next day will be entirely withered when a bunch is left at room temperature.

How long does cilantro last?

Wrapped cilantro in the fridge1 – 2 weeks
Cilantro in water in the fridge7 – 10 days
Frozen cilantro4 – 6 months
Chopped cilantro in the fridge4 – 5 days
Cilantro in oil in the fridge1 month
Dehydrated cilantro at room temperature6 to 12 months

What is the best way to preserve cilantro?

Cilantro is an herb that is best used when fresh, and there is no better way to keep cilantro fresh than to store it in the fridge by wrapping it with paper towels inside an airtight bag.

Freezing is an option to preserve cilantro for a long time but loses freshness, although it is still valuable for several recipes. On the other hand, drying cilantro is not advisable, as it loses a lot of flavors.

On the other hand, keeping cilantro in oil is best to add flavor and preserve chopped cilantro

If you are interested in learning how to preserve any other vegetables or food, do not hesitate to explore this website, as it has the most extensive list of topics related to conservation.


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