Knowing how to chop parsley or cilantro for that matter, is one of a very important set of basic skills you need to learn in order to cook well. As simple as it might sound to some. How to chop parsley or cilantro has many people wondering. There's always a first time so let's get this simple tutorial over and done with.
Before you start chopping, cutting, slicing or dicing anything, you really want to use a sharp knife. Blunt knives are actually more dangerous than sharp ones as they slip when you try to cut with them and will cut you anyway. So, Sharpen up. If you are anything like me, prone to crying, a sharp knife helps reduce the amount of onion juice leaking out of the cut surface when chopping onions or shallots. That means no more tears.
When chopping herbs like parsley, cilantro, chives, chervil, basil or celery leaves it is important to have a sharp knife too. Chopping herbs with a sharp knife reduces bruising of the leaves and keeps their fresh flavour intact.
In this tutorial, I will use parsley to show you how to chop leafy herbs.
1st step - Make sure you wash and roughly dry the parsley. Then pick the leaves of the stalks. The same process goes for other herbs. To store your washed herbs when not using, put them in a plastic bag or airtight container. You could also wrap them in a damp cloth. Always make sure herbs are covered. Otherwise, they will dry out in the fridge.
2nd step - Layer or bunch up the leaves together in a semi-orderly fashion when chopping parsley, cilantro, basil, celery leaves or any other flat soft leaf herbs. When chopping something like chives just line the strands up so it looks like neatly stacked straws.
3rd step - Tuck you fingers in so you don't lose them and start slicing in a rocking motion into thin strips.
4th step - Once the parsley or cilantro is sliced up into strips. Bunch it up and chop through once or twice more depending on how fine you want it.
That was simple, wasn't it? So next time you wonder how to chop cilantro or parsley, remember, sharp knife and the above listed 4 easy to follow steps. Wondering how to chop onions or shallots?
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HOW TO CHOP PARSLEY OR CILANTRO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you chop parsley ahead of time?
Yes, but make sure it's covered airtight to avoid drying out.
Can you chop cilantro ahead of time?
Yes, same as for storing chopped parsley but cilantro tends to go black sooner.
How to store fresh herbs?
Once herbs are washed shaken dry, store them in airtight containers, zip-lock bags or wrapped up in slightly damp cloth. Fresh herbs stored in the fridge correctly should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze chopped herbs?
Once herbs are frozen they lose their texture as the water in the cells crystalise and damage the cell walls. However, Herbs can be store in the freezer if you plan on using them. Cooking will anyway destroy the texture, so, it does not matter that they were frozen.
What part of parsley do you use?
For fresh salads and recipes that require fresh leaves, you use the picked soft leaves. The stalks can be used in stir fry finely chopped or in any other dishes like curries that require longer cooking times. stalks can also be added to stocks and soups before being removed later on.
What part of cilantro do you use?
Because cilantro and parsley are pretty similar they can be both be used for the same purposes. However, cilantro stalks are very good used in curry pastes. The leaves are very delicate and bruise easily so use them in salads or added last minute to cooked dishes in order to give a lovely aromatic kick.
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