Your partner asks you to pick up a bunch of coriander at the market. Panic ensues because you have no idea what coriander looks like or what constitutes a “bunch.” Coriander is a feathery, green herb that is part of the parsley family. An average bunch of coriander weighs about 2.8 ounces and has about 30-40 sprigs.
In this blog post, we will explore how to measure a bunch of coriander. We will also learn how long coriander lasts, how to store coriander, how to tell if it’s bad, and various uses for coriander.
How Do You Best Measure A Bunch Of Coriander?
Fresh herbs (including coriander) can be confusing to measure. Different recipes call for different amounts, from 1 ounce to 1 teaspoon. While others ask for a “handful” or a “bunch.”
The best way to find out exactly how much coriander is in a bunch is to weigh it. This can be done at the grocery store. If you can’t find a scale in the produce department, don’t be afraid to ask.
You can also invest in a small food scale for your kitchen. Most are inexpensive and you can measure your herbs and other items whenever you like.
Another way to measure your bunch of coriander is to chop it up and place it in a measuring cup. This method is not as accurate as the scale, but it will give you a good estimate as to how much you have.
Does A Bunch If Coriander Include The Leaves And Stems?
A bunch of does include the leaves and stems. Sometimes a recipe will specifically state “leaves only” or “leaves and stems.” But coriander stems are sweet and tender enough to use.
How Long Does A Bunch Of Coriander Last?
The answer to this question depends on the way you store the herb. Let’s explore the various life expectancies of coriander and how to extend it.
Unrefrigerated coriander will begin to wilt and become discolored within a day or two. While it will probably still be safe to eat, it will not taste great.
The best option is to store it in the refrigerator. But as stated, it must be properly stored. The arch enemies of coriander are excess moisture on the leaves and dry air.
Uncovered coriander will be exposed to both in the fridge, as well as potential exposure to bacteria.
There are two great ways to keep your coriander safe in the fridge.
The first is to fill a big glass or jar about 1/4 of the way with cold water. Then put the bunch stem side down into the glass. Next, place a Ziploc baggie over the leaves and wrap an elastic band around the bag and top of the container. Place the glass in a safe spot inside the fridge and the coriander will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks.
The other option is to split the bunch in half. Then roll each mini bunch up into 2 layers of paper towel, like a burrito. DO NOT wash the herb before doing this. Then, just pop them into a Ziploc bag or airtight container and refrigerate. Change the paper towel if it gets moist. This will keep the coriander fresh for around 2 weeks.
Can You Freeze Coriander?
Yes, coriander freezes extremely well. You can break up the bunch into smaller batches or keep it whole. Just place it in a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out any excess air, seal, and freeze. Your coriander will keep for up to 6 months.
How Do You Know When Coriander Has Gone Bad?
Fresh coriander should be crisp and perky in texture. The color should be a vibrant green and it should smell a bit like citrus. Spoiled coriander will be soft or mushy.
The leaves will have wilted and may be yellow or brown. There may be a rancid or foul smell to the bunch as well.
If your coriander has any of these characteristics, it’s best to throw it out.
What Is The Best Way To Prepare Coriander For Use?
Coriander is fairly easy to prep for your recipes. When you’re ready to use it, start by washing it.
Put your herbs in a bowl of cold water and swish them around with your hands. Transfer the bunch to a colander and replace the water. Repeat in the new water.
Remove and pat dry with a paper towel or place it in a salad spinner.
When you’re ready to chop, the most important tool is a sharp knife. Place the coriander on a cutting board. If you don’t want or need the stems, simply chop them off at the base of the leaves.
Then start chopping horizontally from the top of the bunch using a rocking motion as you cut. Set the chopped herbs in a container until you’re ready to add them to your dish.
What Are Some Ways You Can Use Coriander?
Coriander has a delightfully intense flavor. It has a fresh, herb base, like parsley, with hints of pepper and citrus. Just a little goes a long way in spicing up bland and basic food. Though it often appears as a garnish on the side of a plate or on top of food, its usefulness goes far beyond that. Coriander can add a distinct flavor to dishes like:
- soups and stews
- pesto and spaghetti sauce
- scrambled eggs
- stir fry
You can also use coriander as a substitute for parsley, tarragon, dill, caraway, and fennel.