Cilantro / Cilantro Root
Also going by the name coriander, Cilantro (Phak Chi, ผักชี) does double and triple duty in the Thai kitchen.
The leafy aromatic herb’s leaves get tossed into soups just before serving (cooking can dissipate and dull the clean, refreshing taste) – and are eaten fresh and raw in salads.
Recipes using cilantro:
- Edamame and cilantro hummus
- Thai ground chicken with lime and cilantro
- Thai spicy mango and apple salad
- Vietnamese chicken noodle soup
The stems, along with Cilantro Roots (Rak Phak Chi, รากผักชี) have a deeper, more earthy flavor and can be ground with peppercorns and garlic to make a warm, bright and substantive seasoning mix or cooking marinade – and is a prominent ingredient in most Thai curry pastes.
There is a clean, herbaceous, ‘greenness’ to cilantro that seems to polarize people into two camps: it’s a love it or hate it kind of ingredient.
Luckily for me, I love it!