How to store cilantro in the fridge so that it doesn't wilt. Keeps fresh for up to one month!
Trimmed and cleaned, in a jar of water covered loosely with a bag.
This method for preserving fresh cilantro will keep it crisp and fresh for up to an entire month. I've tested this against four other popular methods (and reported below), but the number way is to store it in a glass jar with a little bit of water, covered loosely with a plastic bag.
***Keep reading... it's not enough to set it up this way and leave it.
This will get you past the one week mark, but if you want to stretch it even further, it's going to make all the difference to go through the following before and after tips:
1. Clean away the debris and bad leaves.
Right when you get home with it, it's important to remove the band around it and clear away and wilted, yellow, or slimy leaves and stems. They have a way of passing their icky-ness on to the other stems.
2. Do not rinse it.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT rinse the cilantro until you are ready to use it. As mentioned before, clean away the bad leaves and stems with dry hands but don't rinse the cilantro leaves. When you are ready to use the cilantro, remove what you need from the glass and rinse it at that time.
3. Trim the ends
When you have cleaned away the bad leaves, hold the cilantro bundle in one hand and trim about an inch off the ends. This gives the stems a fresh, healthy cut which always gives any plant a boost when it's in water. It will also help them rest flush on the bottom of the glass, in about one inch of clean, cold water.
4. Cover loosely with a thin plastic bag.
Use a light weight, clear plastic bag to cover the cilantro. Don't fix a rubber band around it or secure it in any way. The air circulation helps prevent the break down of the leaves by keeping them dry. You can use the bag from the produce department that the cilantro was placed in, but turn it inside out first and dry it off well, removing any loose cilantro pieces that are clinging to it.
5. Change the water often.
It's very important to change the water every few days. This means dumping out the old, rinsing the glass clean and adding an inch of fresh, cold water (try to get it as close to cold as the refrigerated water was).
This is always an opportunity to remove any new yellow or slimy leaves from the cilantro bunch again. Place the cilantro back into the fresh water in the same way as before.
As long as you continue to care for the cilantro in this way, you're cilantro can last anywhere from 2 weeks up to one month.
***I mentioned that I tested this method against some others. I'm guessing if you've read this far, you're wanting to know exactly how those other methods stacked up. Here's the stats:
- The jar of water (no plastic bag) looked pretty limp after one week, it actually kicked the curb before the cilantro just left alone in the produce bag did.
- That one (the one left as is, in the produce bag) made it about 10 days.
- The cilantro that's stems were wrapped in a damp paper towel, then wrapped in a plastic bag made it just over two weeks before it started breaking down.
- And the final method, the cilantro in a glass of water on the counter top made it a whopping 5 days before it gave up on life (which was surprising, because in my experience that's the best way to store fresh basil). I should note, that with all of these test methods I did clean and trim the stems.
recipes using fresh cilantro
If you are looking for some cilantro recipe inspo, try this Mango Salsa. It's sweet and spicy, and is great topped on grilled chicken or steak, street tacos, or as a fun and healthy side dish for grilled seafood.
Lastly, Cantina Style Chips and Salsa with Cabbage. You know the restaurant style salsa? With the cabbage in it? This is just like that. This is hands down, my absolute favorite salsa on the planet. Be careful though, it's highly addictive.