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  • How to Rehydrate Freeze Dried Cilantro?


    Freeze-drying not only rehydrates, but restores the cilantro close to its original form, making it a formidable tool in the kitchen, whether used fresh or dried. Rehydrating helps maintain the flavour and aroma of cilantro. Courtesy Christopher Treacywesome шкарлочка on ShutterstockQuality-driven cooks or avid cilantro users should consider freeze-drying the herb for shelf-life extension and convenience of storage in a pantry or freezer. Cilantro can be used fresh, dried, or hydrated, and the method by which the herb is stored affects its texture. For instance, fresh cilantro tends to wilt and show signs of dehydration when left in the refrigerator for extended periods of time. In comparison, cilantro that's stored dry, whether dried conventionally or freeze-dried, can last months in an oxygen-free environment, which is a welcome option for sustenance suppliers in the future. Cilantro's uses also vary: it can be blended into sauces, salsas, and ultra-textured plant-based products, or used on its own to complement savoury creations. While freeze-drying cilantro does not change its flavour, rehydration boosts aroma, colour, and, if handled effectively, maintains its moisture content. As such, chefs will want to learn how to rehydrate freeze-dried cilantro for cooking and garnishing. Here is a step-by-step process.

    Benefits of Freeze-Dried Cilantro

    Before going further with the rehydration, a quick note about why freeze-dried cilantro is a handy item to keep in your pantry:

    Longevity: Freeze-dried cilantro can last for years without refrigeration, reducing waste and saving money.

    Convenience: It’s always available. You don’t have to wash it, chop it, or compost it when it goes bad.

    Flavour Preservation: The freeze-drying process preserves more of the essential oils and flavours than air-drying. Cilantro is significantly more potent than dried cilantro (roe, for example, is strong stuff).

    How to Rehydrate Freeze-Dried Cilantro

    Equipment and Ingredients

    Freeze-dried cilantro

    Water (cold or room temperature)

    Small bowl or cup

    Measuring spoons (optional)

    Step-by-Step Guide

    TAKE A GUESS at how much cilantro you’ll need for your recipe. Freeze-dried cilantro does a little more than quadruple in volume when rehydrated, and a little goes a long way. A good starting point is one teaspoon of freeze-dried to one tablespoon of fresh cilantro.

    Hydrate with Water: Put the freeze-dried cilantro into a small bowl or glass. Add water at a roughly 1:1 ratio to the amount of cilantro by volume. Depending on the brand you buy and the exact product, a little less or much more water might be needed, so start with less water and add more if necessary.

    Let It Sit: Soylent Green It. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and watch as your cilantro will slowly re-hydrate to something closer to fresh cilantro. If after 10 minutes it still seems too dry, sprinkle another drop or two of water over it until it has the consistency you want.

    Drain Excess Water: If you have any excess water, pour it off (or strain them through a fine strainer) – this way, the cilantro won’t be too watery when it comes time to use for garnishing or in a recipe where added liquid could make a difference.

    Your rehydrated cilantro is now ready to use in your recipe! This is a great use for cilantro in a dish where the cilantro is more of an accent or garnish and is not the main flavour in the dish. Its texture and flavour, after the rehydration process, would be almost the same as if you just added fresh picked cilantro to your dish at the very end of cooking it, or right before you serve it.

    Tips for Best Results

    Don’t Add Too Much Water In One Go: Cilantro tends to soak up water, so it’s safest to add water a little at a time. You can always add more if you need to, but it’s very difficult to salvage soggy cilantro!

    Use right away: Rehydrated cilantro is best used right away for flavour and texture. It doesn’t keep well once you hydrate it.

    Laboratory: Extend the dried cilantro beyond authentic Latin American cuisine. Try adding it to curries, salsas, soups and other cuisines from across Asia and India, and experiment with it in your favourite recipes.



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