What is Coriander Leaf (Cilantro)?

Coriandrum sativum L.

Carrot Family: Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)

Also called Chinese parsley or Cilantro

Coriander leaves (cilantro in North America) come from an annual herb called Coriandrum sativum. All parts of the plant, including the roots are edible although the fresh leaves (cilantro) and seeds are more frequently used. The herb is indigenous to South Europe and Mediterranean region

The leaves have a pungent fragrance which seems to be either hated or loved by different people . I started eating coriander before I could walk or speak, so I’ve known it all my life and I really love it.

What are coriander leaves used for?

Drying or freezing coriander leaves diminishes their flavour and aroma so coriander leaves are always used fresh. The leaves are also very perishable so should be bought in small quantities.

Coriander leaves are best used raw or added at the end of cooking because heat diminishes their flavour and fragrance.

Fresh coriander leaves are a key ingredient in Mexcan, SE Asian, Chinese, Latin American,  and African cuisine. Both the leaves (cilantro) and seeds are used extensively in India for cooking, flavouring and garnishing foods.

The leaves can be used to flavour and garnish fish, seafood, meat, poultry,  salads, soups and stews.

Chopped coriander leaves can be added salsas, guacamoles, legume or rice salads, stir fries, hot cooked rice, grilled chicken, fish or beef.

Coriander leaves are not  used in extensively in Europe or Japan, except in Portugal.

Coriander Roots

Coriander roots have a more intense flavour than the leaves and are used in many Asian cuisines especially in Thai cuisine to make curry pastes.

What is the Nutritional Value of Coriander Leaf (Cilantro)?

Fresh Coriander Leaves contain 95% water but is very rich in vitamin K and has a good amount of vitamin A and C.

Coriander Seeds (Coriandrum sativum) myfavouritepastime.com
Coriander leaves, whole seeds, ground seeds (Coriandrum sativum) myfavouritepastime.com

myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: May 18, 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

9 thoughts

  1. I always thought cilantro tastes the way stink bugs smell. I hated cilantro until just recently when I ate it in a Tai chicken dish. All of a sudden I liked it!

    1. Ha ha that’s nice. I really love the smell of cilantro leaves. Makes food taste fresh…and it goes well with fresh ginger and chilli or fresh tomatoes and fresh chilli pepper. Enjoy your week!

    2. I’ve heard some people lack an enzyme or something that makes cilantro taste gross… You either have it or you don’t.

      I never knew that corriander was cilantro….how did I miss that??

      1. Coriander is the name used by the rest of the world. Cilantro is the name used in North America.
        More like Maize is the name used by the rest of the world and Corn is the name used in North America for Zea mays (Maize).

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