My local supermarket has cheap frozen coriander/cilantro.

But when I defrost it by leaving it in a bowl for an hour, it turns into a slimy mess.

How can I defrost it so that I get nice fresh leaves?

  • 4
    Mince and use frozen? There is no way to get "nice fresh leaves" from frozen "soft leaf" herbs.
    – moscafj
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 14:23
  • 2
    Frozen greens can be put into dishes where they would be cooked to a slimy mess anyway. They will never be "fresh" again.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:00
  • I have never had frozen coriander, but whenever I have used other frozen herbs, they didn't feel slimy. So it is unclear what the OP expects, if it is chopped fresh herbs, or just a nonslimy mess.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


Frozen supermarket coriander/cilantro is perfectly good to use whilst cooking. Very similar to adding stems for flavour. You'll never get fresh looking leaves to finish the dish from the ice blocks, but stir it in and you will get that background flavour. Delicate leaves, Basil is similar, are either fresh or they aren't.

Don't worry too much about the look and you'll be fine. Bear in mind that you're adding water to the recipe, and put a pot plant on your windowsill for the finishing touches.


In most cases, if frozen food has unsatisfactory texture after thawing, the damage has either already been done while freezing (which might depend on the freezing process used - shock frosting vs normal slow freezing, blanching vs no blanching...), or has happened when the product thawed (eg due to bad cooling chain management on the vendor's side, or an auto-defrosting freezer, or due to the product getting to warm when transporting it from the grocer) and slowly refroze.

What you bought was probably a bag of frozen slimy mess already while in the grocer's freezer. The brand might be cheap because they use less than optimal freezing technique.

  • Coriander has thin leaves, only a cell or two thick, and is not frost resistant as a growing plant. When frozen the water in the cells expands and ruptures their walls, this is why their texture is different on defrosting. There are plants whose leaf cells survive freezing, but they generally aren’t culinary herbs. Bay leaves might, or rosemary.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 7:41

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