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How To Cut Cilantro

How To Cut Cilantro

How to Cut Cilantro:

Are you a fan of fresh and flavorful cilantro? This versatile herb adds a burst of vibrant taste to numerous dishes, from salsas and salads to soups and curries. However, if you’re not sure how to properly cut cilantro, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary tools at hand:

  • A sharp kitchen knife
  • A cutting board
  • A bowl of cold water
  • A colander or salad spinner

Step 2: Clean the Cilantro

Start by rinsing the cilantro under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel or use a salad spinner to remove excess water. This step is essential for maintaining the herb’s freshness.

Step 3: Separate the Leaves and Stems

Hold the cilantro bunch by the stems and use your other hand to grip the top of the stems firmly. Then, simply twist and pluck the leaves off the stems. If you prefer a stronger cilantro flavor, you can leave a few of the thinner stems attached to the leaves.

Step 4: Chop the Cilantro

Place the cilantro leaves on the cutting board and gather them into a compact pile. Starting from one end, use a sharp knife to slice through the leaves in a rocking motion. Keep your fingers tucked safely away from the blade to prevent any accidents.

Step 5: Store or Use Immediately

Once you’ve chopped your cilantro, you have two choices: you can either store it for later use or incorporate it into your dish right away.

If you plan to store the cilantro, place it in an airtight container or bag and store it in the refrigerator. It will remain fresh for up to a week. Remember, though, that cilantro’s flavor is best preserved when used fresh.

If you’re using the cilantro immediately, sprinkle it over your dish or mix it in, depending on the recipe. This herb adds a delightful freshness to salads, sauces, and even cocktails.


Learning how to cut cilantro is a simple skill that allows you to enhance your culinary creations with a vibrant burst of flavor. With the right technique and a sharp knife, you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh taste of cilantro in all your favorite dishes. So, the next time you’re cooking up something delicious, don’t forget to reach for that bunch of cilantro and give it a proper chop!

For anyone looking to use freshly cut cilantro in their dishes, there are plenty of exciting recipes to try. Start with Classic Pico de Gallo, a simple yet flavorful option that pairs well with many meals. Cilantro-Lime Rice is another excellent choice, adding a zesty touch to any main course. For a refreshing twist, Mango Salsa with Cilantro brings a sweet and tangy flavor that's perfect for summer gatherings. If you're in the mood for something more substantial, Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Slaw offer a delicious combination of textures and flavors. Lastly, Cilantro Pesto Pasta provides a unique take on a classic dish, blending the fresh taste of cilantro with the richness of pesto. These recipes not only highlight the versatility of cilantro but also show how a simple herb can elevate your culinary creations.

Share your tips and techniques for chopping cilantro in the Cooking Techniques forum and let’s discuss the best ways to prepare this flavorful herb.
What tools do I need to cut cilantro?
To cut cilantro, you will need a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a pair of kitchen shears. These tools will help you efficiently trim and prepare cilantro for your recipes.
Should I wash cilantro before cutting?
Yes, it is recommended to wash cilantro before cutting it. Rinse the cilantro under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Pat it dry with a paper towel before proceeding to cut.
What parts of cilantro should I cut and use?
When cutting cilantro, you will mainly use the leaves and tender stems. The thicker and tougher stems towards the bottom of the bunch are usually discarded as they can be bitter in taste.
What is the proper technique to cut cilantro?
The most common technique to cut cilantro is to gather a small bunch of leaves and stems together, hold it firmly, and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to trim off the desired amount. You can chop it finely, coarsely, or leave it in larger sprigs based on your recipe requirements.
How do I store leftover cut cilantro?
To store leftover cut cilantro, dampen a paper towel or kitchen cloth and wrap the cilantro loosely in it. Place it in a plastic bag or an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Properly stored, cilantro can stay fresh for up to a week.
Can I freeze cut cilantro?
Yes, you can freeze cut cilantro to use at a later time. To do so, blanch the cilantro quickly in boiling water for a few seconds, then cool it down in ice water. Pat it dry, chop it if desired, and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Properly frozen, cilantro can retain its flavor for up to six months.
Are there any other ways to cut cilantro for specific recipes?
Yes, depending on the recipe, you may want to try alternative cutting techniques. For example, for garnishing or adding a finishing touch to a dish, you can pluck individual leaves from the stem. If you want a more uniform and delicate texture, you can also chiffonade cilantro by stacking the leaves, rolling them tightly, and slicing them thinly. Experiment with different cutting methods to achieve the desired results in your recipes.

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