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Thread: Dried herbs for fresh - how to substitute?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Question Dried herbs for fresh - how to substitute?

    I am making a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves. I don't have any, and I don't have time to go to the grocery store. How much dried basil could I substitute for this recipe?

    Is there a standard rule for substituting dried herbs for fresh ones?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Brit living in TO
    I do believe it's 1 tsp of dried for every tbsp of fresh.

    I'd consider the recipe though and if the fresh basil is essential (i.e. salad), I'd make a run to the store. You truly can't beat fresh herbs.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Boston, MA - metrowest
    Standard rule is to use 1/3 dried of the amount you'd use fresh - so if it's 1 tb of fresh, you use 1 tsp dried.

    But I think with amounts that substantial, and especially with basil, it often doesn't translate well - be hard to judge without knowing the recipe. But if you do sub dried, start with just a little - you can always add more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    The usual rule is 1 unit dried herb equals 3 units fresh.

    For the recipe you describe, 1/3 of 1/2 cup equals 1/6 cup which is about 2 2/3 tablespoon. I don't know how many servings your recipe makes, but the usual ratio for basil may be too much. I would add less (probably 1 tablespoon) and see how it tastes; you can add more later in the cooking process if needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hollywood, California
    I'm really only repeating what others have said but I wouldn't substitute dried basil for fresh in a recipe calling for 1/2 cup of fresh basil as with that kind of ratio, the fresh basil would be indispensable (IMO). I'm running through the kinds of dishes that I make using large quantities of fresh basil and I couldn't conceive of substituting dried.

    I'm not a purist about a lot of stuff -- If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, I hate spending 2 bucks and my taste buds really can't tell the difference when it's all cooked up.

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