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How to Store Fresh Cilantro to Make It Last Longer

how to store fresh cilantro
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / erichh

There’s nothing quite like the zing of fresh cilantro, but what if yours is showing a desire to wilt? Here’s how to store fresh cilantro in two easy ways.

Cilantro (also known as coriander) is a well-known, and much-loved herb. You’ll often find it used as a garnish, or thrown into a colorful salad, or wrap. It’s a very popular herb in many cuisines, in particular Indian, Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern. Fresh cilantro is more flavorsome than the dried variety, and gives a great splash of color, with its attractive green leaves.

Fresh cilantro, left unattended, will begin to wilt after a few days, so it pays to care for it just a little, so that it stays fresher for longer, preventing food waste, and making the most out of your food.

Unlike the curry you may be making, fresh cilantro likes to be chilled, so whichever method you use, keep your cilantro happy by storing it in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze fresh cilantro, but note that its texture will change so you may wish to adapt your recipes if using frozen cilantro.

How to Store Fresh Cilantro in a Zip-lock Bag

The zip-lock bag method keeps cilantro fresh for up to two weeks.
The zip-lock bag method keeps cilantro fresh for up to two weeks.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Brett_Hondow)

    Our first method will keep those cilantro leaves and stems fresher for longer, lead to less wilting, and hopefully avoid you having to discard them. All you need is your cilantro, a reusable, sealable zip-lock bag and some paper towels.

    Your cilantro can last up to two weeks with this method of storing. Washing the leaves is optional, dryer leaves will last longer and there will be less chance of them going mushy. It may be preferable to wash just before use. If you do wash, make sure they are thoroughly dry before you store it.

    1. Divide the cilantro into small bunches.
    2. Wrap each bunch in a paper towel.
    3. Place the wrapped bunches in a zip-lock bag.
    4. Squeeze out excess air and seal.
    5. Pop them in the fridge.

          This method works best if you keep the fresh cilantro as it is, rather than chopping or tearing it first.

          How to Store Fresh Cilantro in Water

          Learn how to store fresh cilantro with a dash of water.
          Learn how to store fresh cilantro with a dash of water.
          (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ka_re)

          Our second method just uses cilantro, a glass, and water (which you should change every day or two). This method keeps the leaves perky for longer. Just be careful not to knock it over, or overfill the glass. Again you can wait to wash it until just before you’re using it. If you wash it prior to this stage, make sure that you dry the cilantro thoroughly.

          1. In a sturdy glass, add a little fresh, cool, water.
          2. Place the bottom part of the stems in the water, so that the leaves aren’t touching the water itself.
          3. Place a reusable (and possibly transparent bag so that you can see the cilantro, like a zip-lock bag) over the top of the glass, keeping it loose.
          4. Carefully place in the fridge.
          5. Change the water every day, or every other day.

          Just as with the above mention, the fresh cilantro should keep for up to two weeks, so you can enjoy it in a variety of recipes, like lobio, a vegan bean stew, vegan sancocho, a Dominican root stew, or poha, a vegan Indian breakfast rice.

          If this advice comes too late, and the cilantro you needed for a recipe is already spoiled, check out our eight best coriander and cilantro substitutes.

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