Don’t let your leafy herbs test your patience again.

By Maki Yazawa
July 20, 2020
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Thanks to the endless hours spent consuming TikTok content while stuck at home (have you tried making mini pancake cereal yet?), we’ve come across several genius food hacks to make everyday cooking less of a hassle. Give your fingers a break from the tedious task of picking herb leaves off of their stems and try these genius hacks to get the job done in a fraction of the time. Best of all, you don’t need to run out to buy any supplies––your everyday kitchen staples will do the trick. 

What You’ll Need

If you’ve been scrolling through your TikTok feed lately, you may have come across the viral “Cilantro Hack” that helps you quickly and easily pick the leaves off of the stems using a cheese grater. Recently, TikTok user @jeenie.weenie posted her mind-blowing results of this viral food hack trend and you’ll definitely want to try it too. Spoiler alert: it actually works. And even better news, you can use this method with just about any other leafy herbs like dill, mint, and parsley too.

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How It Works

Here, you'll use a cheese grater to do the work of de-stemming for you. Start by making sure your cheese grater has large enough holes to fit the stem of your herb. All you have to do is feed the stem of your herb from the outside of the grater into the center. From the inside, gently pull the stem down until the leaves break free from their roots, leaving you with perfectly plucked, ready-to-use leafy greens. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Pro tip: don’t overcrowd the hole of your grater with too many stems. Feeding a few stems through at a time, ensuring your stems are uniformly bunched together while passing through, will help yield better results. Additionally, make sure the hole of the grate is the appropriate size for the type of herb you are using. For cilantro, a medium to large grate size will work. But for a thinner herb like dill, you may want to use a small to medium grate to do the picking.    

Other Kitchen Staples That Also Work

If you don't have a cheese grater on hand, a colander or a fork will also work. When using a colander, simply feed the stems through the holes as you would for the cheese grater method. You can even collect the leaves in the colander as you go, rinsing and straining once they’ve all been plucked. If you don’t have a grater or a colander, try a fork. Bunching together your herbs, hold the end of the stems tightly, then run the tines of the fork from the stems to the leaves, separating the two from one another. Your garnish = good to go.