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Dried Cilantro

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A few recipes will call for cilantro (fresh) during the cooking stage vs. adding at the end of the cooking stage.

Everytime I've added dried cilantro to a recipe, I've never been able to taste any cilantro taste. I've tried this immediately after opening a container.

However, another dried herb used in "South of the Border"/Mexican cuisine, which I can taste and like the taste of, but is not interchangeable, is Mexican oregano and always gives me that Mexican taste I'm looking for.

Does anyone use or purchase dried cilantro and feel satisfied with it?

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  1. To the best of my knowledge, dried cilantro just doesn't retain much of it's original flavor. In Houston, where I live, fresh cilantro is really cheap in the grocery store. It's also really easy to grow (but keep it in a pot, as it can spread rapidly). Dried, ground, cumin is also a quick way to add Mexican flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: arashall

      As long as we're talking about cilantro, will fresh cilantro retain it's flavor after cooking? For instance, I'm trying to make cilantro soup - will will it retain the strong cilantro taste if I serve it a day or two later? Will it retain it's taste during long cooking, or is it best added at the end?

    2. I made the mistake of buying dried cilantro. Once. Use fresh.

      1. Dorot makes a frozen version that I use willy nilly in chilis. That might work for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Heatherb

          That's right! - now I remember that I bought some frozen in little squares at Trader Joe's. Perhaps someone else has that, who knows. I've not that about that for several years now. Thanks.

        2. Mexican oregano is normally used dried, and does have a good distinctive aroma, especially when crushed at the time of use. While distinctively Mexican (its one of the condiments served with menudo), it isn't a substitute for cilantro.

          Culantro tastes much like cilantro (some think it is stronger), though the leaves are quite different (better for cooking than using raw). It is supposed to retain more flavor when dried. I've found it fresh in Asian markets with a Vietnamese name.

          1. As sighted above dried Cilantro seems to lose all of its flavor, but Dried Mexican Oregano would not make a good substitute for it.
            If you have no cilantro just skip it or use a bit of parsley

            1. I buy it fresh, clean it, and freeze it in freezer bags. Just crumple and throw some in at the end of a recipe where it calls for fresh. Works perfectly.

              2 Replies
              1. re: haiku.

                Thanks, Haiku. I bought a bunch of cilantro yesterday. I will freeze it as you suggested.

                I guess that I could food processor it and freeze as ice cubes, too. But your way sounds like a time-saver.

                1. re: Rella

                  My kids have this flexible rubbery ice tray that makes little cubes. Might be good for freezing and portioning out doses of cilantro or other.

                  I'm glad this came up...when I grow cilantro, it bolts on me. Dried - like someone else said: "once."
                  Fresh - I end up composting half of the bunch.

                  Might have to abscond with their icemaker.

              2. dried cilantro - useless, less useful than dried parsley.

                1. Dried cilantro is pretty much a waste of money. Very little flavor at all. Fresh cilantro keeps pretty well if you stand it up in water, or if you wrap it in a paper towel in the fridge. As far as Mexican herbs, I also use epazote as well as Mexican oregano. Penzey's sells it dried, and it adds a nice Mexican flavor.

                  1. Dried cilantro tastes like nothing. No need to waste any more money on it. I haven't tried frozen cilantro, but I'm sure that would be better. As far as oregano goes, like rosemary (and unlike cilantro and parsley!) it's one of those herbs that actually has a stronger taste when dried than it does fresh.

                    1. Dried cilantro is used as an herb in Afghan cuisine. I have seen Afghan recipes with both dried and fresh added in the same dish, as they don't impart the same flavor.

                      I agree that the McCormick type stuff is useless, but perhaps if it is home dried from fresh it has its own unique and longer lasting flavor.

                      1. Using fresh is best. However, most people who use dried cilantro don't use enough--2T. dried = 1/4 C. fresh.

                        1. Dried cilantro is tasteless no matter when it's used

                          1. I've bought it twice once in a little jar and the other time in a blister packet.
                            When my nose worked I could smell it opening the jar, and after using up the blister packet almost completely I emptied the rest in to jar. checking yesterday when clearing out pantry, it's all but gone. I buy it at the market, wrap it tight in cello, and freeze it. of course it looses it's bright color but the flavor is for the most part, still there. lot's better than buying/using a tiny bit/tossing in the bin.

                            wonder how many are lovers and how many are haters of cilantro?
                            I like it.