Cilantro Makes Everything Fabulous - Eat Drink Man Woman Blog at Allrecipes.com - 95835

Eat Drink Man Woman

Cilantro makes everything fabulous 
 
May 15, 2009 11:31 am 
Updated: Jan. 19, 2013 8:53 am
Cilantro--also known as coriander and Chinese parsley--is one of those herbs that most people either love or detest. I happen to love it. Even a comic book character is named after it. (By the way, cilantro haters can commiserate here.) Fragrant and lemony, cilantro is a staple in my kitchen, as well as the spice rack, where I keep coriander seed. Chopping cilantro releases a wonderful fresh aroma, and I even love it when my hands smell like it afterward. Seriously, I'd use cilantro-scented hand soap. (Speaking of, I always hear people say that cilantro tastes like soap to them, which I don't get. Tom yum soup though? That tastes like soap.)

Being Chinese, I was born with the cilantro-loving gene. My parents always kept huge bunches of it in their fridge, and they consistently went through it before it went bad. (This is notable, because every cilantro lover knows how poorly fresh cilantro keeps. To prolong its life, you can wrap the cilantro in paper towels before placing them in a bag. I've heard of people putting theirs in water, with the roots cut. Or you can try a herb keeper.) Something I learned from my parents' cooking is that unlike Italian parsley, which has a bitter, hard stem, the cilantro stem can be used in cooking just like the leaves. Because cilantro is much softer than parsley, it's fine to use the entire stalk in dishes where it's chopped and mixed with the other ingredients.

There aren't many things I love more than cilantro. With its lovely green leaves and fresh scent, it provides an almost floral undertone to spicy dishes. As the main attraction in a dish, it's pure delight. Some of my favourite ways to use cilantro are:
  • Mixed in Mexican burritos
  • As a homemade pizza topping
  • Garnishing or mixed in Indian curries
  • Sprinkled generously on top of Chinese-style steamed fish
  • Sprinkled on Chinese noodles in soup and rice porridge
  • In scrambled eggs, omelettes, etc.
  • As a garnish on Asian (Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc.) dishes
  • In sandwiches--especially Vietnamese ones, yum
Below are some pictures of some AR recipes that use cilantro as a main ingredient, or to which I added cilantro. For big cilantro lovers, I highly recommend Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce. Add some jalapenos to it for a spicy kick.
Chickpea Curry
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Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce
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Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)
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Garlic-Cilantro Scrambled Eggs
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Comments
May 15, 2009 12:24 pm
Ooooohhh....DL, I'm right there with you. I LOVE cilantro too. And you are so right, people either love it or hate it, there really isn't much middle ground. My mother was from Morocco and we grew up eating a lot of middle eastern foods. That style of cooking also uses a lot of either the cilantro or coriander or both at the same time. Your pictures look great and I'm going to try the cilantro cream sauce. The eggs look great too.
 
May 15, 2009 1:53 pm
Thanks for the tips on how to keep cilantro longer. I love cilantro and I always have it in my fridge.
 
May 16, 2009 6:09 am
You can also freeze cilantro.I use it pinto beans but always have extra so I freeze it.
 
May 16, 2009 7:34 am
I love, love, LOVE cilantro. I love it to the point that I'm almost offended when people say they hate it, like it's a blow to something I hold sacred. I used to love watching Ina Garten's show until one episode she made chili and she was using basil. I was thinking "huh, basil in chili?" and then she said "you could use cilantro but I hate cilantro." It's never been the same with her show since then.
 
May 16, 2009 9:51 am
Avon, I forgot about Middle Eastern food. Yummers. Mamafox, I heard about that too. Do you just use it straight from frozen? LB, glad to know that there are other people just NUTS about cilantro like I am. :)
 
May 16, 2009 4:51 pm
Wow, it sounds a great idea to put some cilantro in the freezer so they don't go bad, I have never heard of it. Thanks!
 
May 17, 2009 7:26 am
Yes we are nuts about cilantro! I even like to smell it before putting it in the bag at the super market. As far as using it frozen it depends. If adding it to a hot substance I would not thaw but for a sauce I would thaw so it could be room temp...
 
May 17, 2009 5:01 pm
Ha, I love to smell it too. Good to know about the freezing. I'll try it if I find I can't finish a bunch of cilantro! Thanks.
 
Emikat 
May 18, 2009 11:16 am
Hi sorry I wasn't sure how to contact you ( fairly new to site) but I recently read a review of yours on Mimis giant muffins, (These muffins really are big. Usually, when I bake a recipe for 12 muffins, I use only 9 or 10 tins to have larger-size muffins. I didn't have to do that with this recipe. To make this healthier and diabetic-friendly, I made some changes: I used 3.5 bananas, fresh strawberries, homemade unsweetened applesauce, Splenda brown sugar (and only 2/3 the amount required), and only a dash of cinnamon.) I just want to let you know that cinnamon is excellent for combating diabetes!! There is tons of info if you google cinnamon and diabetes My grandmother who has diabetes drinks tea of cinnamon daily to help control her glucose. Just wanted to share
 
May 18, 2009 7:25 pm
I love cilantro, too! I just planted some in my herb garden and I'm looking forward to a summer of cilantro in Asian wraps and in fresh tomato salsas. I never thought of putting it in scrambled eggs, but that sounds delicious! Thanks for the idea.
 
May 19, 2009 4:22 pm
Emikat, thanks, yes I just found that out about cinnamon too. It's actually my mom who is diabetic so she told me about it. Whenever I make her sweets or pancakes I make sure to include cinnamon! :)
 
May 19, 2009 4:23 pm
Hi foodelicious, mmm those sound great!
 
Escoffier 
Apr. 9, 2012 9:26 am
To prolong freshness of lettuce my mother used to cut a raw potato in two and put it in a bag or container with the lettuce. I wonder if it would work also with cilantro. I will try for sure. The lettuce with the raw potato remains crisp much longer.
 
Jan. 19, 2013 8:53 am
I usually wash and chop up the cilantro and freeze it in a container and use a spoon to scoop out what i need to toss into soups and hot foods and also dips. I was looking for other tips but I guess thats the best way to preserve it. :-)
 
 
 
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DetectiveL

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Member Since
Apr. 2007

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I'm newly (and happily!) single, with two awesome kids and a good relationship with my ex. Things have changed a lot for me lately but one happy side effect of being single is having more time to try different recipes and experiment in the kitchen! And yes, my ex still gets to sample my cooking. (He does need all the help he can get...)
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook practically everything. When baking, I tend to dial back the sugar and have a fondness for nuts, fruits, and spices in my baked treats.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I hope to start some more family cooking traditions with my children. My son sometimes helps with dinner and desserts. My daughter is a little too young but she is already very interested in helping in kitchen when mommy cooks and bakes. She has her own play kitchen too!
My cooking triumphs
Making flaky pastry crust, getting my ex and son to eat (and like) fish, and learning how to make yeast breads without a machine. Getting my ex to try 'weird' food (e.g., different ethnic foods) was also a triumph. Most of all, learning to actually like cooking is the biggest triumph. I used to despise it!
My cooking tragedies
One of the first meals I ever made was risotto. It tasted good but it was way too sticky! Oh, and there was the time I had a cake baking in the oven and no one noticed that the fuse had blown halfway through the cooking time. A few years ago I tried to make doubles (Trinidadian snack food with chick peas and fried bread) and it was awful. The chickpeas were too oily, the bread not enough so; it wasn't spicy enough, and the bread was weird and misshapen.
 
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