These Super-Simple Hacks for Storing Cilantro Will Keep It Fresh for Weeks

published Mar 8, 2022
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We all have the best of intentions when buying bouquets of fresh herbs at the farmers market. Our heads are swimming with ideas (hello, soups, stews, and quiches!) as we pack our cart to the brim, only to go home and place those bunches in what will probably be their final resting place — the back of the fridge. After we find them weeks later, wilted and alone, into the trash they go. 

California food blogger Piping Pot Curry — also known as Meeta — has heard our cry and is now giving us a way to avoid just that. On a recent Instagram post to her 36.4K followers, the Mumbai native came to the rescue by teasing tips on how to wash, cut, and store one particular herb: cilantro. 

It’s one of the most polarizing herbs. We all know someone who wrinkles up his or her nose because their genetic predisposition brings out the herb’s soapy-flavored aldehydes. But it still deserves love. And, according to Meeta, it’s pretty easy to keep it fresh. 

One of the first things to know about the tender leaves of the coriander plant loved in Indian and other cuisines is that it requires a gentle hand when washing and storing. And time isn’t on your side, as it will start to brown and droop if not handled properly. 

Meeta, thankfully, gives us three ways to store cilantro — all three of them in the fridge. 

While her preference is to wash the leaves right away in a bowl of cold water (the dirt will loosen and sink), she also maintains that unwashed cilantro can be stored for two weeks by simply rolling it up dry in a paper towel and popping it into a zip-top bag. The next method — which also allows you to get another week out of your storage time — calls for storing the entire herb (stalk and all) in the fridge in a water-filled glass jar like a bouquet of flowers, immersing just the stems. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag, and you’ll get three weeks of usage.

The ultimate time hack she loves, however, is washing the cilantro, coarsely chopping, and storing in a paper towel-lined airtight container in the refrigerator for easy access during the week.

Regardless of method you choose, though, you may find that it will wilt after some time. Her trick to bring it back to life is to submerge it in ice-cold water for a quick pick-me-up.

So there you have it, folks. Quick and simple ways to keep your cilantro fresh for weeks on end. To be honest, I definitely wish I knew them sooner!

Want a dish where the flavor really shines? Try this cilantro lime cauliflower rice recipe.