My husband came home from America and proudly Presented me with about 4 cups worth of dried cilantro he bought from pensey's spices. I do love pensey's, but I don't see how coming from pensey's can save this stuff from it's existential crisis. What do I do with 4 cups of dried cilantro?

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    Cat litter? Garden mulch? Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 19:36
  • Salsa? Or does it lose its magic when it dries? What am I missing here? (Maybe I should add that I'm not a very pro-cilantro person. It tastes a bit like eating aluminum to me.)
    – Preston
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 20:49
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    Please don't try to give questions clever titles - our goal is long-term searchability, not short-term attention. Separately, you can generally substitute any dry herb for its corresponding fresh variant, so this seems to apply to just about all cilantro - not that there aren't several recipes using dried cilantro specifically. I don't think this fits with our culinary-uses guidelines, but I'm open to ideas...
    – Aaronut
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 21:03
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    @PrestonFitzgerald For most of us that love cilantro, drying it simply ruins it. It's worse even than basil for that. The dried has none of the character of the fresh. Even Penzeys, which is a darn good brand, can't save dried cilantro.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 0:50
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    @Aaronut the one thing I am positive you cannot do with dried cilantro is generally substitute it for fresh. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


Cilantro (or as the rest of the world calls it, coriander) is one of the most ridiculously applicable cooking herbs I have had the privilege of using.

That said, you are correct - when dried, it's application becomes far more limited (to a far greater extent than most other herbs and spices).

I have successfully used dried coriander in english stews, curries, pies, ice-cream, fried/breakfast egg seasoning, salads and coffee.

I have not successfully used it in stir-fries, any asian cooking, thai curries, or anything complicated or french, where fresh coriander does seem to work.

Take this with a grain of salt, but I think it has something to do with the way coriander breaks down in slow-cooked or oil-heavy dishes, so fast stuff or with coconut milk etc doesn't work so well with the dried herb.


In Caribbean cooking, you can use it in rice and beans dishes. Namely rice with red or black beans. Add while stewing the beans. If you're using canned cooked beans, add it just as you're starting the burner, so that the flavor has a chance to come out.

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