Quick Answer : Can You Freeze Cilantro?
The answer is a very simple YES. You can freeze cilantro and use it later in your recipes or as a garnishing ingredient. Cilantro, also referred to as coriander leaves in various parts of the world, is easy to freeze. As it considerably enhances your food’s flavor, you could stock up on a lot of cilantro at a time. Though cilantro does not have a particularly long shelf life, you can freeze it for consumption later.
How Do You Freeze Cilantro?
You can freeze cilantro in two ways. First, freezing cilantro is not a problem. But, the key lies in preparing the cilantro to freeze. Both methods require adequate preparation before freezing cilantro.
Freezing Cilantro In Freezer Bags
After purchasing from the market, you cannot pop the cilantro directly into the freezer. Therefore, cleaning them before freezing them is crucial.
- Wash the cilantro with its stems in running water to remove the mud sticking to the branches and the roots. We suggest sniping off the roots and freezing the cilantro with the stem. Alternatively, you can pluck the leaves and freeze them. It is an individual choice. However, the cilantro stems are also edible.
- Drying the cilantro is essential because water deposits on the leaves can turn to ice crystals when freezing. The crystals can melt and make the cilantro a soggy mess when you use them after freezing. Pat the cilantro leaves dry with a paper towel to remove excess water. Alternatively, wrap the towel gently over the cilantro and let it absorb the water. You can also lay the cilantro on a paper towel and allow the water to evaporate.
- Look out for the discolored leaves. Please remove them and consume them immediately. We recommend freezing fresh cilantro.
- Pack the cilantro leaves and the stem together into freezer bags. Expel excess air from the bags and seal them airtight. If you have plucked the leaves, fill the bag with them. However, we advise you to shake the bag a little to prevent the leaves from sticking together.
- Stick the date label and place the bags inside the freezer, allowing the cilantro to freeze.
Freezing Cilantro After Blanching
The cilantro frozen using the method described above can lose its color and become dark. So, they would not be ideal for garnishing food. Nevertheless, you can use them in other recipes. But, blanching the cilantro allows them to retain its color.
- Clean the cilantro well using the method described above.
- Blanch them properly to preserve their colors. Place the cilantro in a colander and dip it into boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds. Immediately, transfer the cilantro to an ice bath for a similar duration. Remove the cilantro and pat it dry before freezing.
- Now, the freezing process is the same as described above. Place the cilantro in freezer bags, remove air, and seal them tight. Note down the freezing date and let the cilantro freeze in the freezer.
Freezing Cilantro In Ice Cube Trays
It is possible to freeze cilantro in ice cube trays. The cleaning process is the same for this method.
- Chop the cilantro along with its stem into tiny pieces. Next, scoop these pieces into ice cube compartments.
- Fill the compartments with water or olive oil. Any oil should do, provided it freezes well. You can also use butter. But please ensure the leaves are submerged fully.
- Cover the ice cube tray with plastic or cling wrap to prevent the liquid from spilling into the freezer.
- Push the tray into the freezer and allow the cilantro to freeze for a few hours.
- Remove the frozen cubes and transfer them to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Expel excess air and seal them tight.
- Note the freezing date and push the bags into the freezer.
Freezing Cilantro Puree Or Paste
You can freeze cilantro puree or paste. Blend the cilantro with water or edible oil in a blender or mixer. Grind it into a paste.
- Scoop the paste into ice cube tray compartments.
- Cover the ice cube tray with cling wrap.
- Place it inside the freezer and allow the paste to solidify.
- Remove the solidified cubes and transfer them to a ziplock bag.
- Expel excess air and freeze the cilantro in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Cilantro?
Cilantro can remain frozen for four months in the freezer. However, we recommend not freezing it longer because its flavor can degrade. Hence, consuming cilantro within four months is crucial.
The advantage of freezing cilantro in ice cubes is that it reduces the risk of freezer burn.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Cilantro?
Defrosting the frozen cilantro is unnecessary. You can add the cilantro leaves to the recipe directly regardless of how you freeze it. If you have frozen cilantro leaves, you can stir them directly into the hot dish. If you have the cilantro as ice cubes, you can transfer it to the soup and leave it on for a minute or two to melt.
Can You Refreeze Cilantro?
Cilantro is a delicate herb. So, it is not advisable to refreeze cilantro. The chances of degrading are high with repeated freezing. But, refreezing does not ruin the cilantro.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Lime Rice?
You can freeze cilantro lime rice. Please allow the rice to cool completely before freezing.
Can You Freeze Cilantro-Lime Crema?
You can freeze cilantro-lime crema in ice cube trays as you freeze cilantro paste.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Pesto?
Yes, it is possible to freeze cilantro pesto in ice cube trays.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Lime Dressing?
We do not recommend freezing cilantro lime dressing. But, you can store it in the refrigerator for five days.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Rice?
It is possible to freeze cilantro rice. However, we advise cooling the rice to room temperature before freezing. Otherwise, it can become soggy.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Lime Sauce?
Cilantro lime sauce contains mayonnaise. Hence, we do not recommend freezing it.
Can You Freeze Cilantro Stems?
You can freeze cilantro stems as you freeze cilantro leaves.
Can You Freeze Cilantro In Water?
Yes, it is possible to freeze cilantro in water in ice cube trays.
Cilantro or coriander leaves are essential garnishing herbs in almost all recipes. They emit a delicious flavor. So, there can be questions about freezing cilantro. The good news is that you can freeze cilantro and extend its lifespan by nearly four months.