This isn’t a meal you have to prepare in advance, but I do love to have coriander (cilantro) on hand in the freezer at all times. Whilst it’s available frozen in some big and speciality supermarkets, it’s very costly. You can grow your own coriander, but the poor little plants and I don’t get on. They wilt on me, probably because I give them all haircuts before they’ve even had chance to get good roots.
Where to Buy Frozen Coriander
What I like to do is buy a couple of large bunches from a South East Asian supermarket or a large supermarket such as ASDA etc and freeze it myself. Sometimes you can get the small packets at 3 for £1* in Lidl, or you can get them in other supermarkets marked down to as little as 5p. If you’re making a trip to a big city, look for an international supermarket where they usually have it in giant bunches. They tend to be a little dirty still so you definitely need to wash these at home.
Preparing Frozen Coriander
Take the very tips of the stalks off and discard. Give the coriander all a good rinse in cold water. Drain in a colander and pat dry with a tea towel. It doesn’t matter if they get a little bruised before freezing.
Use a santoku knife (this one is perfect) to very finely chop the leaves and freeze them in a container with a lid or a bag. I love to use the stalks – remove the stalks and roughly chop them. Freeze in a small sealable bag. These make a great vegetable for stir fries and curries and don’t need to be wasted!
Chop the coriander leaves by rolling into a large sausage shape and finely slicing. Don’t break apart the slices but transfer to a resealable freezer bag. To use, take out what you need and add it to your food just before serving, stirring through to defrost. I find it works well too for cold dishes like guacamole, and even sprinkled over food after dishing up it will defrost enough by the time you eat it. Fresh coriander is our favourite, but sometimes this is the only way we can get hold of it undried and it keeps its flavour indefinitely. You probably should use it within a few months.
A super easy method for storing herbs such as coriander by freezing
- large bunch of fresh coriander
- Step 1 1. Remove the tips of the stalks and discard
- Step 2 2. Wash well under cold water, removing any dirt and debris then drain in a colander
- Step 3 3. Dry well on a tea towel, don’t worry about bruising them
- Step 4 4. Remove the stalks and roughly chop them. Freeze in a small sealable bag. These make a great vegetable for stir fries and curries
- Step 5 5. Chop the coriander leaves by rolling into a large sausage shape and finely slicing. Don’t break apart the slices but transfer to a resealable freezer bag
- Step 6 6. To use, take out what you need and add it to your food just before serving, stirring through to defrost
*Prices correct at time of publishing
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