Dried Cilantro Vs Fresh – Can They Be Used Interchangeably?

fresh and dried cilantro

Can I use dried cilantro for fresh? Does fresh and dried cilantro taste the same? You have got here the answers to all such questions.

Cilantro has a different meaning in different places. In English, it refers to the leaves and stems of the coriander plant, aka coriander leaves. The fresh lacy green leaves of this herb provide a slightly spicy and citrus-like flavor and are a common ingredient in Asian and Latin American cuisines.

Most fresh herbs lose their taste and texture when dried. But some herbs like basil and oregano are equally flavorful when they are used fresh or dry. Let us see here the difference between fresh and dry cilantro and how to use them.

Fresh Cilantro Vs Dried Cilantro

Almost every herb tastes best when they are used fresh. Usually, delicate herbs lose most of their flavor and aroma when they are dried. For example, herbs like tarragon, parsley, mint, chives, and dill are recommended to be used fresh.

Does fresh and dried cilantro have the same flavor? Unfortunately, no. Cilantro is a delicate herb similar to parsley. Fresh cilantro has a strong pungent aroma and citrusy flavor, but when they are dried the pungency is almost completely lost. Certainly, cilantro lovers would never be happy with its dried version. However, those who dislike the fresh coriander leaves for their strong soapy flavor may enjoy the mild flavor of dried cilantro leaves.

Pros and Cons

Dried cilantro leaves lose the fine nuances of the fresh herb including flavor.

Fresh herbs have more nutritional value but dry herbs usually develop more antioxidants in them.

As a plus point, dried cilantro has a long shelf life but fresh leaves begin to wither away after a day. Properly stored, dried cilantro leaves will usually stay at best quality for about 1 to 2 years.

Dried cilantro is great for making seasoning mixes that include dry herbs and spices like cilantro seasoning or Chimichurri.

Can I use dried cilantro for fresh?

Many wonders if they can use dried cilantro in place of fresh cilantro or the other way around. It mostly depends on the personal preferences of flavor.

If you are fond of the strong flavors of fresh cilantro then its dried version is not your cup of tea. Dehydrated cilantro is not a worthy substitute for farm-fresh green cilantro leaves. In fact, this herb is most satisfying when eaten raw. For a better choice, have a look at the cilantro substitute options we have on another page.

For some, the strong flavor of cilantro isn’t appealing. For them, dried cilantro with a mild flavor would be more loveable than the fresh herb. But for most people, using dried cilantro for fresh is as good as omitting the herb entirely.

If you need to use dried cilantro in place of fresh a good general rule of thumb is 1:2.

Different Uses In Cooking

Obviously, dried cilantro cannot be used in every recipe in the same way as you use fresh leaves. The dried leaves are suitable to be used in dishes that require longer cooking time or in marinades where the pungency and aroma of the herb have less importance.

As a matter of fact, dried herbs need to be cooked for some time for the better release of flavor and their proper integration into the dish. Contrarily, fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley lose their flavor when cooked, so they are usually added to the dish after cooking. Always add dried cilantro to your dish while it’s being cooked for this allows a better infusion of flavors into the dish.

Dried cilantro is not suitable for dishes like banh mi sandwiches, lime shrimp, green sauce, and others which have distinctive fresh cilantro flavor as their characteristic flavor.

FAQs

What is dried cilantro called?

Dried cilantro is also called dried cilantro leaves, dry cilantro, or dried coriander leaves. In English, coriander is the name for the leaves and stalks of the plant, while seeds are called coriander seeds.

How to dry cilantro leaves?

Dry cilantro in an oven or through the traditional method of air-drying.  For drying it in the oven, spread the leaves on a cookie sheet with baking spray to help with sticking. The leaves placed in the oven on a cookie sheet dry out for 25-30 minutes at 250 degrees F. Stop drying when leaves are sufficiently dried and before they turn dark and burnt.

Is dried cilantro as good as fresh?

No. Dried cilantro has very little flavors and nutritional value. It isn’t worth using dehydrated cilantro in place of fresh leaves if you are looking for the authentic pungency of fresh cilantro.

Can you use dried cilantro in guacamole?

If you don’t have fresh cilantro, in guacamole you can use dried instead. Nonetheless, your guacamole won’t have the bright flavor of fresh cilantro.

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