How To Chop Cilantro

Cilantro Chopping 101: Leaves vs Stems

Cilantro is a versatile herb that offers a refreshing and bold citrusy taste. While it’s commonly used as a garnish, cilantro can also be used as a primary ingredient in soups, sauces, and salads. The challenge that many people face, however, is learning how to chop cilantro properly.

Before we delve into the techniques of chopping this flavorful herb, it’s important to know which parts of cilantro are usable. Cilantro leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant, but the stems are also edible and packed with flavor. In fact, cilantro stems have more concentrated flavor than the leaves, making them a delicious addition to any dish.

While some people prefer to chop the leaves and stems separately, others choose to chop them together, creating a more well-balanced flavor that is distributed evenly throughout the dish. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use the stems or not is a matter of preference.

how to chop cilantro

Tools of the Trade: Choosing the Right Knife and Technique

Having the right knife is crucial when it comes to chopping cilantro. A chef’s knife with a sharp blade is the best option for a clean cut on both the leaves and stems. A dull knife or a small paring knife will result in bruising the delicate herb.

To begin, remove the leaves or leaves and stems from the stems. Discard any wilted or discolored leaves. Rinse the cilantro in cold water to remove any dirt, and pat dry gently with paper towels or a dishcloth.

Lay the cilantro on a chopping board and fold them inward, forming a small bundle. Using a rocking motion, gently chop the cilantro into small pieces, making sure to keep the tips of the knife in contact with the cutting board. Avoid lifting the knife too high, as this can result in uneven cuts, bruising, or crushing the herb.

Cilantro Conservation: Freshness, Storage, and Shelf Life

The best way to enjoy cilantro is when it is fresh, but cilantro can last in the refrigerator for up to a week if stored properly. To store cilantro, rinse the herb in cold water and dry it completely with paper towels or a dishcloth. Wrap the cilantro in a damp paper towel or a damp cloth and place it in a plastic bag with small holes to allow for ventilation.

Alternatively, cilantro can be stored in a jar of water, with the cut stems submerged, just as you might store fresh flowers. This method will keep the cilantro fresh and flavorful for up to two weeks.

how to chop cilantro

Pro Tips and Techniques: How Chefs Cut Cilantro Like a Boss

Chopping herbs like a chef can take practice and patience. Here are some tips and tricks from professional chefs to help you chop cilantro like a pro:

1. Use a sharp chef’s knife to prevent bruising and jagged cuts

2. Roll the cilantro leaves and stems into a tight bundle and hold them with your non-dominant hand.

3. Use your dominant hand to lightly grip the handle of the knife and make swift cuts through the cilantro.

4. Always keep the blade on the cutting board for more precise cuts.

5. Use a rocking motion to chop herbs with even cuts.

6. Discard the cilantro stems if they are thick or woody.

7. A mandoline slicer can also be used to ensure thin and even slices.

how to chop cilantro

Health Benefits and Other Uses of Cilantro: What Science Says

Cilantro not only adds a burst of flavor to your dishes, but it also has several health benefits. Cilantro is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. It also contains antioxidants that are good for your immune system, and may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Cilantro finds its place in various medicinal and cosmetic applications. Native to Southern Europe, North Africa, West Asia and South Europe, Coriander seeds can either be used fresh or dried. They are used to cure stomach disorders and its consumption timely can help in the digestion process. Additionally, Cilantro oil can be used as a natural antiseptic when mixed with warm water.

Key Takeaways

To chop cilantro like a pro, remember to use a sharp chef’s knife, bundle the cilantro leaves and stems together for efficient chopping, use a rocking motion to create uniform pieces, and store cilantro properly in the fridge or a jar of water with cut stems submerged.

Health-wise, cilantro is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals and can provide several health benefits like aiding digestion and may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

With these tips and techniques, chopping cilantro will be a breeze, and you’ll be ready to enrich your dishes with the bold and refreshing taste of this versatile herb.


1. What are the best techniques for chopping cilantro based on the dish being prepared?
Depends on the dish being prepared. For example, if you’re making a salad, you’ll want to chop the cilantro into small pieces so that it’s evenly distributed throughout the dish. If you’re making a salsa, you may want to chop it into larger pieces.

2. What tools or equipment can make the process easier?
A good quality knife is essential for chopping cilantro. A sharp chef’s knife is recommended, as it will allow you to cut the cilantro cleanly and without bruising it. A cutting board is also useful, as it will provide a stable surface for chopping.

3. How do I chop cilantro without bruising it?
To avoid bruising the cilantro, use a gentle chopping motion with your knife. Hold the cilantro loosely in your non-dominant hand, and then use your dominant hand to chop it with the knife.

4. How do I remove the stems from cilantro?
To remove the stems, hold the cilantro by the stem end and then run your fingers down the stem to remove the leaves. Alternatively, you can also use a sharp knife to remove the stems.

5. How fine should I chop cilantro?
The size of your cilantro chop can vary depending on the recipe. For most dishes, a fine chop is recommended, but for certain recipes, a coarser chop may be preferable.

6. Any additional tips or tricks to help beginners?
One helpful tip for beginners is to start with a small amount of cilantro and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the chopping process. Another tip is to make sure your knife is sharp, as a dull knife can make the chopping process more difficult and increase the risk of bruising the cilantro.

By using these best techniques and tips, you can master the skill of chopping cilantro with ease. Happy cooking!

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