Culantro or Eryngium foetidum is a part of the Apiaceae household which additionally contains carrot, coriander, parsley, celery, and parsnip. The herb is also called sawtooth coriander, Mexican, or Thai coriander and is commonly in comparison with coriander. Whereas the 2 have the same aroma and flavour, culantro has a special leaf form and look, withstands high-temperature cooking, and is stronger in style and odor.
The herb is native to Mexico, the West Indies, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. It’s believed culantro was additionally used for medicinal functions by native tribes throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Culantro might be grown in Australia and ought to be sown from September to February in chilly places and from August to March in subtropical and tropical areas.
Development and harvest
It’s a biennial herb however might be perennial when planted in hotter tropical climates. Culnatro seeds are small and may first be planted indoors throughout winter or early spring earlier than being transferred outdoors as soon as any frosts have handed.
Seeds ought to be planted 30cm aside in all instructions in well-draining soil. Culantro must be planted in areas that obtain partial shade and may also be planted in pots, which allows growers to maneuver the plant away from harsh climate circumstances.
Culantro seeds sprout between 14-28 days and develop right into a plant that’s similar to a lettuce with a rosette of stiff, darkish inexperienced leaves with sawtooth edging. The herb grows to round 40cm in measurement and has a pineapple-shaped flower within the centre which might be eliminated to assist leaves develop. Leaves might be picked or minimize off individually as soon as they’re 25-30cm in size from the bottom of the plant.
Flavour and culinary makes use of
The leaves might be eaten uncooked and cooked and final for a few week as soon as they’re harvested. The herb has citrus and earthy notes and is commonly described as a concentrated dose of coriander.
Flavour-wise, culantro has a bitter, earthy profile that some may describe as being soapy in character. It may be utilized in the same approach to coriander, however because of its stronger nature, ought to be added to dishes in smaller portions. It may be built-in into meals throughout and after cooking as it may well face up to excessive temperatures.
Culantro is a flexible herb and can be utilized in every thing from salads and marinades to salsas, tacos, soups, noodles, curries, and baked dishes. Within the Caribbean, culantro is utilized in a sofrito which is a mix of herbs and spices used as a base for stews and rice dishes. Phở additionally makes use of culantro as a garnish so as to add a degree of freshness and bitterness.