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cilantro--can it be frozen?

dimsumgirl Feb 25, 2007 01:41 PM

I have a large bunch of cilantro and hate to see it go to waste. Is this something that can be frozen?

  1. g
    gonepoopin Jun 20, 2011 10:56 PM

    Hari chutney would freeze well, especially in an ice cube tray.


    1. Caroline1 Jul 20, 2008 11:21 PM

      Yup. Can be frozen. I seperate long stems from leaf clusters, freeze the stems whole in a zip lock bag, the leaves chopped in another zip lock. I don't bother with trying to preserve their shape. It will disappear when thawed anyway. And frozen cilantro is only good for adding to something you're cooking, or you can use it in a salad dressing, but it will never work as a garnish or dusted in a taco.

      I've yet to find an herb that doesn't freeze successfully. Right now I have mint, epizote, dill weed, parsley, cilantro, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, fresh marjoram, and fresh bay leaves in the freezer.

      1. b
        bw2082 Jul 20, 2008 09:43 PM

        cliantro is so inexpensive I would not bother since the flavor would not be as good as fresh

        1. Gio Jul 20, 2008 05:21 PM

          Everytime I've frozen fresh herbs it has taken a nano second for them to become a deathly shade of black. I think that's what V. was trying to say............

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gio
            Veggo Jul 20, 2008 05:38 PM

            Thank you, Gio. I often do struggle for correct words and imagery.

            1. re: Gio
              Scargod Jul 20, 2008 05:59 PM

              You need to blanch it for a few seconds....

            2. m
              martasiete Apr 14, 2007 09:49 PM

              depends on what you want to use it for when you take it out of the freezer. For some things, it's of no use after it's been frozen. If you want to blend it into others, it's fine. It turns to mushy green stuff often.

              1. m
                MakingSense Feb 26, 2007 10:38 PM

                Chop it to the consistency that you will usually use it in recipes. Place it in a small zip-top bag or plastic container. No water. The water will take all the flavor out of it. When you need some, just scratch out what you need directly into the dish you are making - don't defrost. It will keep reasonably, but not terribly well, for a few weeks. BTW, parsley freezes extremely well this way. Never use water. These two herbs are not at all like thyme which has a fleshy leaf, botanically very different.
                Cilantro is probably the most difficult of all herbs to preserve. Best to buy it fresh and keep it as Mochi Mochi suggests in a vase in the fridge. Even then it wilts and loses its flavor quickly.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MakingSense
                  Penfire Jun 20, 2011 09:32 AM

                  I wash my Cilantro by dipping it in a vinegar water wash for several minutes, shake dry, may paper towel it a bit to get excess water off then just put it in a freezer bag, burp the air out, and freeze it. I just take some frozen bits of it out to put in my salsa recipe and it is as good as fresh. Never tried thawing it up as you can just use it frozen in any dish.

                2. mochi mochi Feb 26, 2007 06:35 PM

                  I have had the same experience as luniz. I have found that keeping it a little water like roses in a vase in the refrig seems to keep it a little longer and fresher. I do the same with asparagus. I change the water daily.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mochi mochi
                    Bratdawg Apr 14, 2007 09:45 PM

                    Hmmm... I saw in a Pampered Chef catalog an herb keeper that was based on the idea of keeping it in a bit of water in a container to keep it fresh.

                    I would never use it fast enough anyway. The freezing of it tho would be great. Especially in the winter when I want it for soups.

                    1. re: Bratdawg
                      Bratdawg Jul 20, 2008 04:44 PM

                      I bought this herb keeper and found it is better for long pretzel sticks. :O

                      I think I'll try chopping cilantro and maybe squeezing half a lemon in it to preserve it's color and freezing it in ice cube trays.

                      1. re: Bratdawg
                        DanaB Jul 21, 2008 02:00 AM

                        Many herbs keep much better in a vase of water than in a plastic bag in the fridge, basil and cilantro included.

                        I currently have one of those heads of butter lettuce that are sold with the roots attached, and it's been alive in my fridge for over a month. I'm thinking this is the wave of the future for selling veggies!

                        1. re: DanaB
                          Caroline1 Jul 21, 2008 04:07 AM

                          We can hope!

                    2. l
                      luniz Feb 26, 2007 11:50 AM

                      I froze some in water and used half within a month or two and it still had some flavor, I used the rest another month later and no flavor.

                      As mentioned, chop it, cover with ice water, and freeze. It should last at least a month or so.

                      1. C. Hamster Feb 26, 2007 11:31 AM

                        I grind mine up with garlic and freeze it.

                        1. a
                          apricot Feb 25, 2007 03:21 PM

                          There was a chef on Martha Stewart the other day who showed his tip for freezing fresh thyme. I don't see why it wouldn't work for cilantro too. He basically blanched it in boiling water for a few seconds (using a mesh strainer), then plunged it into ice water. He said that preserved the color. Then he squeezed the water out and bundled it into plastic wrap.

                          1. Non Cognomina Feb 25, 2007 02:15 PM

                            Lay cilantro in a single layer on waxed paper on a baking sheet or other flat surface. Place in freezer for 3-4 hours until completely frozen. Place in a ziptop freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.

                            1. h
                              haochi Feb 25, 2007 01:49 PM

                              Trader Joe's sells frozen cilantro so it seems possible...

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