Fresh cilantro rarely lasts long in the fridge. At the most, you may get 3-4 days from it before it starts to look rather limp and withered. It’ll probably be good to cook with, but after that point, using fresh cilantro as a garnish probably isn’t happening. Thankfully, there are ways to store cilantro so you can get a bit of extra life out of it. In fact, you could easily see it lasting great for a good week or longer. Let’s teach you how to store cilantro in the fridge.
The key to storing cilantro in the fridge for long periods of time is to remove as much moisture from it as possible. Before you place the cilantro in the fridge, air dry it. You can then store it in the fridge in cold water. This should allow you to keep that cilantro looking tremendous for a week, if not longer.
Let’s explain exactly how this process works.
This is the key part of the process. When you buy fresh cilantro, it will be ‘wet’. You don’t want to store it in the fridge like this. You need to dry it out.
Follow these steps:
- Lay out the cilantro on a paper towel. Try to ensure the cilantro is not overlapping.
- Leave for around 15 minutes. Try to avoid leaving too long. The longer they are out, the more chance there is that they will wilt.
- Pat the cilantro dry with a paper towel.
You are not aiming to get the cilantro completely dry, just as dry as you possibly can. The more moisture you get out, the longer that cilantro will last in the fridge.
While the cilantro is drying find an airtight plastic container that is big enough to hold the herb. Place a paper towel at the bottom of the container.
When your cilantro has dried, place it inside the container. On top of this, place more paper towels. You want the cilantro to be completely covered. It is important to note that at absolutely no stage should you be pushing down on the herb. If you do, it will damage it. As soon as it is damaged, it will begin to rot.
Put the lid on the airtight container and place it in your fridge. Your cilantro should be good for a few weeks.
Some people may skip the whole drying process. Instead, they put the cilantro in some cold water, and store the herb in the fridge like that. The cold water should stop the cilantro from drying out. It will certainly stop it from wilting. You will have to change the water every couple of days, though.
We prefer the drying-out method for cilantro. This is because it requires a lot less effort, and the cilantro tends to last a lot longer. We also find that leaving the cilantro in cold water isn’t as great for the flavor. It is fine if you are consuming the herb within a couple of days, but beyond that, most of the flavor will disappear into that water. Although, on the plus side, your cilantro is still going to look fantastic!
If you dry your cilantro out beforehand, you can also place it in the freezer. However, this will make the cilantro look rather unappealing, and thus should only be used for cooking rather than decorating whatever delectable dishes you have put together.
Some people have claimed that the air-drying method can have the cilantro last in that fridge for up to a month. Although, that is no guarantee. How long the cilantro lasts will depend on how frequently you open that container, how dry you kept it, how old the herb was when you purchased it, etc.
Before you use the cilantro, always carry out a visual inspection. if it has started to brown or blacken, then throw it away. Good, fresh cilantro will be green.
Air drying and then storing in an airtight container is the best way to store cilantro in the fridge. If you follow the method we detailed on this page, we wouldn’t be surprised if your cilantro is kept fresh for 3-4 weeks. It certainly beats the standard freshness time of just a couple of days.