Whatever you cook it is important to use the right spices and herbs to boost the flavor of your dish. Many herbs are used as fresh or in their dried form in many different dishes.
One of the most used herbs in Asian, Indian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisine but also in many other cuisines around the world is cilantro. It is nothing more but the fresh leaves of the coriander plant.
Coriander is a member of the parsley family that includes parsley, celery, cumin, fennel, dill, and some other plants and herbs.
The seeds of the coriander plant are known as coriander seeds and are usually used as a spice in cooking. They have a warm, nutty, and citrusy flavor and you can use them in whole or ground form.
Fresh cilantro is known as a herb with a strong flavor. Some herbs when they are dried offer a more potent flavor, but when cilantro is dried its flavor becomes milder.
Therefore, fresh and dry cilantro is used in different dishes, and they are not usually used as each other substitution.
However, if you don’t mind the mild flavor of the dried cilantro that it adds to dishes you can try to use it instead of fresh cilantro. You can use fresh cilantro instead of dry but in a small amount and at the end of the cooking.
Does Dried Cilantro Taste Like Fresh Cilantro?
Dried cilantro doesn’t taste like fresh cilantro. Fresh cilantro has a strong lemony and slightly peppery flavor, which some people find to taste a kind of soapy, whereas dried cilantro is with a weak cilantro flavor.
Therefore, if you want to reach the strong flavor of the fresh cilantro in your dishes using dry cilantro is not a very good choice.
It is better to use cilantro, another herb with a similar and stronger flavor to cilantro but a different look. Culantro has a stronger flavor than cilantro. Thus, you should use it in smaller amounts in your dishes.
Can I Use Dried Cilantro in Place of Fresh?
Dried and fresh cilantro are with a different flavor. Dried cilantro doesn’t have a very strong flavor like fresh cilantro.
Therefore, you can use dried cilantro in place of fresh if you don’t have any other herb on hand. But you will not get the same flavor in your dish as you would with the fresh cilantro.
You can use 2 tablespoons of dried cilantro instead of 4 tablespoons of a fresh one. Some of the recipes you can use dried cilantro instead of fresh are rice, soups, bean dips, bread, and chutneys.
However, you will have to add the dried cilantro at the beginning of the cooking time so there is enough time to give its flavor to your dish. In some dishes like sandwiches or sauces, it is not recommended to use dry cilantro instead of fresh.
Can I Use Dried Cilantro Instead of Fresh in Salsa?
If you are making salsa using dried cilantro instead of fresh is not a very good choice.
When you are making salsa you are using fresh and raw ingredients like tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro to give a vibrant and fresh flavor to your salsa. And dried cilantro can’t give you that fresh note you need in your salsa.
It is better to add some other fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, basil, and parsley. They have a similar taste to cilantro and can give the final fresh touch you need in your salsa.
What is Dried Cilantro Used For in Cooking?
Dried cilantro works amazingly in dishes that are cooked for a longer time like dishes with beans, rice, soups, stews, and marinades. However, it also makes a great garnish or seasoning in salads, casseroles, and sauces.
When you are using dried cilantro you should add it to your dish at the start of the cooking so it has enough time to develop its flavor and add it to the dish. You should not use dried cilantro in dishes where you need some fresh herbs like cilantro to enhance its flavor.
How to Store Cilantro Properly?
Fresh cilantro cannot stay fresh for a long time if it is not stored properly. You can keep it fresh if you put the steams in a glass filled with water and cover the top with a plastic bag. Then you can place the glass in the refrigerator and use it when needed.
You can also keep fresh cilantro in freezer bags. First, blanch the leaves in boiling, then wilt in cold water. Pat dry the blanched leaves with a paper, towel put them in freezer bags, and freeze them. You can use your frozen cilantro whenever you need it.
Fresh cilantro can be also minced and mixed with salt in a 1:4 ratio (1 part salt and 4 parts cilantro). You can keep this salt in a freezer for about 1 year and use it in various dishes that ask for cilantro. However, you will have to reduce the amount of the other salt added to the dish.
Cilantro is a staple in many dishes because of its unique flavor. If you like its flavor you can use fresh cilantro in your favorite dishes. However, if you can’t stand the strong flavor, add dried cilantro instead and you will have only a trace of the cilantro flavor to improve your dish.
Which cilantro you prefer and you are going to use depends only on your taste and the type of dish you are preparing. Was this helpful? Share your cooking tips in the comments below.