Whenever you come across a recipe that includes herbs or spices, it will usually tell you whether fresh or dried are needed.
But what if you only have fresh or only have dried?
If it is crucial to use one or the other, the recipe will usually say this up front.
Using fresh is usually only critical if:
- it is the star of the show (ie, a huge amount of basil is needed to make pesto and it must be fresh)
- it is used as a garnish that needs a lot to be used to give the finished recipe a certain flavour or texture (ie. large leafed parsley on top of pasta)
When a recipe calls for herbs or spices as a seasoning within the dish, it is usually safe to assume that either fresh or dried will work.
|THE GENERAL RULE|
|3 units of fresh herb = 1 unit of dried herb|
Some herbs and spices are a little trickier to convert and do not follow the general rule.
Here is a table outlining some of the more difficult ones.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines. There are a few factors that will come into play when doing the conversion:
- How old are the dried spices being used (older spices become stale and lose flavour)
- What brand is being used (some brands have stronger flavour than others)
The safest thing to do is to taste as you go and add more if needed.
|Herb||Amount of Fresh Herb||Equivalent Quantity of Dried Herb/Spice|
|Basil||2 tsp finely chopped basil (about 5 leaves)||1 tsp dried basil|
|Bay leaves||1 fresh leaf||2 dried leaves|
|Chervil||3 tsp fresh cilantro||1 tsp dried cilantro|
|Chives||1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives||1 tsp freeze-dried chives|
|Cilantro||3 tsp fresh cilantro||1 tsp dried cilantro|
|Dill||3 tsp fresh dill||1 tsp dried dill|
|Garlic||1 clove||1/4 tsp granulated garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder|
|Gingerroot||1 tsp grated fresh ginger||1/4 tsp dry ground ginger|
|Marjoram||3 tsp fresh marjoram||1 tsp dried marjoram|
|Onions||1 medium onion||1 tsp onion powder|
|Oregano||1 Tbsp fresh oregano||1 tsp dried oregano|
|Parsley||2 tsp finely chopped parsley (or 3 sprigs)||1 tsp dried parsley|
|Rosemary||1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 small/medium sprig)||1 tsp dried rosemary|
|Sage||7 leaves (or 2 tsp minced fresh sage)||1 tsp dried sage|
|Tarragon||3 tsp fresh tarragon||1 tsp dried tarragon|
|Thyme||1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 6 sprigs)||3/4 tsp ground thyme|