What’s Cilantro? | Diethood

Cilantro is a aromatic herb characterised by its citrusy, peppery undertones. Usually added in the direction of the top of the cooking course of to protect its daring taste, right here we dive into its specifics and focus on what makes cilantro distinctive.

Raw Cilantro Bunch set on a light-colored linen.

What The Heck Is Cilantro?

Cilantro is a vibrant inexperienced, flat-leaf herb identified in cooking for its pungent, lemony, peppery leaves. You’ll discover it bought in bunches within the produce aisle, and if you happen to’ve ever mistaken it for parsley, you’re not alone. In actual fact, cilantro is a part of the household Apiaceae, which additionally contains herbs like parsley, fennel, and dill. Cilantro’s taste, nevertheless, is in contrast to another. At the moment, I’m giving the lowdown on cilantro: what it’s, its advantages, and the way it’s utilized in recipes.

What Does It Style Like? 

Cilantro leaves have a robust, lemony, peppery style. Relying on who you ask, the flavour is even described as soap-like. Technically, that’s not unsuitable. The leaves include pure aldehyde chemical compounds much like those utilized in cleaning soap. The seeds of the plant are a lot milder, with a nutty, spicy style. When paired with the correct flavors, the leaves and seeds give a great deal of dishes a shiny, aromatic kick.

Is Coriander the Similar Factor?

Coriander and cilantro are totally different names for a similar herb. In North America, the leafy a part of the herb is often thought-about cilantro, whereas the dried seeds are known as coriander seeds. It’s additionally identified in some components of the world as Chinese language parsley.

Cilantro Vinaigrette Coleslaw garnished with fresh cilantro leaves in a bowl.

Cilantro In Cooking

Cilantro is extensively used as an fragrant herb and as a garnish. In the event you love Mexican meals, there’s an excellent probability that you realize it already! Cilantro brings shiny, spicy, citrusy notes to tacos, salsa, and guacamole and genuine taste to Mexican rooster pozole verde and Latin American dishes like sancocho Dominicano. It’s additionally a staple in Indian curries and chutneys, Central Asian dishes, and Center Jap and Northern African recipes, together with spices like cumin.

Well being Advantages

Like its relative parsley and others within the Apiaceae household, cilantro is a strong disease-fighting herb. The leaves and seeds are stuffed with immune-boosting antioxidants and polyphenols, which assist with irritation. It’s additionally an excellent supply of nutritional vitamins C and A, in addition to vitamin Ok, which helps bone well being.

Cilantro Substitutions

Here’s a checklist of some widespread substitutes for cilantro:


  • The flavour of parsley is milder and extra versatile than cilantro. The crops look very comparable, so you possibly can simply substitute parsley as a inexperienced garnish in a recipe that requires it. Nevertheless, as a result of the flavors are very totally different, parsley is probably not your best option to exchange giant quantities of cooked or contemporary cilantro.

Thai Basil

  • Like cilantro, Thai basil has a pungent, herbaceous style, although the flavour is extra savory, spicy, and licorice-like. It makes an excellent substitute for cilantro in curry dishes and Asian-style recipes.


  • Recent dill makes an excellent substitute for chilly dishes, like salads. Since dill has a stronger taste, you may get away with utilizing much less. You need to use half of the quantity of chopped dill instead of cilantro in recipes.

Lemon and Lime

  • In a pinch, a squeeze of lemon or lime can mimic the zesty, citrus taste of cilantro. This works largely while you add it on the very finish of a recipe or proper earlier than serving, a lot as you’d with contemporary cilantro leaves.
Close-up shot of fresh Cilantro.

Easy methods to Minimize Cilantro

As soon as it’s faraway from the plant, cilantro doesn’t keep contemporary for lengthy. It spoils rapidly, so that you’ll must maintain it within the fridge between makes use of. Right here’s the way to reduce cilantro:

  • Wash. Don’t wash your cilantro till you’re prepared to make use of it. Earlier than chopping, gently rinse the leaves and stems with chilly water, then fastidiously pat them dry with paper towels. 
  • Minimize the stems. Subsequent, transfer the cilantro to a reducing board. Bundle it along with the stems and leaves lined up. Utilizing a pointy knife, reduce off the lengthy stems slightly below the leaves. Afterward, you possibly can choose by means of the leftover leaves, separating out any bigger stems.
  • Chop the leaves. Now, it’s time to cut up the leaves. Use one hand to carry the leaves collectively and bunch them up (gently!) on the reducing board. Together with your knife within the different hand, fastidiously run it by means of the leaves in an up-and-down movement to cut them.

Easy methods to Retailer Cilantro

It’s finest to retailer cilantro unwashed and unchopped. To maintain it contemporary, place the stems in a glass of water within the fridge, with the leaves coated loosely in a plastic bag. This manner, it ought to maintain for as much as 1 week, and you’ll snip off the leaves as wanted.

15 Recipes That Use Cilantro

You’ve handed Cilantro 101 with flying colours! Now, it’s time to place cilantro to good use with these straightforward recipes.

overhead picture of chicken thighs cooking in a cast iron skillet

Juicy Cilantro Lime Rooster

Boneless rooster thighs are soaked in zesty cilantro-lime marinade and pan-seared on this Southwest-style recipe. The rooster comes out unbelievably tender and juicy, and so stuffed with taste!

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overhead shot of chicken breasts in a skillet with creamy chipotle sauce with cilantro

Creamy Cilantro Chipotle Rooster

This straightforward rooster breast recipe has all of it: contemporary cilantro, tender, pan-seared rooster, and a mouthwatering creamy sauce with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to present it a hefty kick.

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Overhead of a breakfast burrito cut in half on a cutting board.

Breakfast Burritos

These scrumptious, make-ahead pleasant breakfast burritos are every kind of taste rolled up inside a flour tortilla! I make this recipe with fluffy scrambled eggs, beans, crispy potatoes and bacon, plus Mexican-inspired fixings like avocado, melty cheese, and salsa made with contemporary cilantro.

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Overhead of three salmon tacos with mango avocado salsa served on a plate.

Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa

Get your day by day dose of omega-3s at your subsequent household taco evening! These scrumptious salmon tacos are stuffed with flavorful seasonings, topped with sweet-tangy mango salsa with avocado, then drizzled with zesty cilantro yogurt.

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baked falafel arranged on a white plate.

Crispy Baked Falafel

Baked do-it-yourself falafel are the right vegetarian meal thought which you can actually make your personal! These crispy spherical fritters come collectively simply with a combination of garbanzo beans, tahini, cilantro, and herbs. Serve them in a pita, or on their very own dipped in your favourite sauce.

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overhead shot of a taco bowl with taco meat, sliced bell peppers, avocado slices, beans, and rice, and a fork placed inside the bowl.

Taco Bowls

Totally loaded taco bowls are a straightforward, wholesome lunch or meal prep thought made with tasty taco toppings served over a mattress of fluffy rice. I make mine with savory seasoned floor beef, loads of veggies, and avocado with a beneficiant sprinkle of contemporary cilantro leaves.

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five air fryer fish cakes set on a platter with a garnish of lime slices and a dipping sauce set on the side.

Air Fryer Fish Muffins

Recent chopped cilantro brings a citrusy, herby kick to those straightforward do-it-yourself fish muffins made out of flaky white fish and a touch of candy chili. All it takes is minutes within the air fryer to cook dinner these patties to golden, crispy perfection!

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ELOTE corn served on a platter with lime wedges

Elote (Mexican Road Corn)

Turning charred candy corn into Mexican road food-inspired elote is likely one of the finest stuff you’ll do that summer season! Juicy corn on the cob is rolled in a creamy sauce made out of mayo, Cotija cheese, chilies, and contemporary lime. Sprinkled throughout with cilantro, in fact!

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eight Grilled Steak Skewers served on a plate and topped with chimichurri sauce

Grilled Chimichurri Steak Skewers

Flip a bunch of cilantro into the freshest, zestiest Argentinian chimichurri to serve over completely grilled flank steak skewers. This straightforward beef kebab recipe is spicy, savory, and all-around scrumptious!

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overhead shot of a white bowl with shrimp ceviche that includes diced tomatoes, diced avocado, diced shrimp, diced cucumbers, red onions, and jalapenos.

Straightforward Shrimp Ceviche

In the event you’re something like me, shrimp ceviche is a should each time I see it on a restaurant menu! Now, make your personal at dwelling with this boldly flavored ceviche recipe made out of juicy shrimp tossed with diced veggies, jalapeños, and creamy chunks of avocado.

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A skillet of chicken thighs in sauce, with fresh herbs and lemon on the work surface.

Moroccan Rooster Tagine

Moroccan tagine, or tajine, is a flavorful dish that is named after the North African cookware it is ready in. This straightforward rooster tagine recipe is a must-try! It is made with bone-in rooster thighs cooked in a savory spiced stew with carrots, chickpeas, and candy dried apricots.

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Sliced carne asada on a plate with a serving fork

Mojo Carne Asada

Belief me, this unimaginable mojo carne asada recipe must be in your grill ASAP. Daring, flavorful steak is soaked in a citrusy mojo marinade with beer and cilantro, after which grilled tender and juicy on this straightforward summer season dinner thought.

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chicken korma served alongside some rice and topped with chopped cilantro.

Straightforward Rooster Korma

Creamy rooster korma garnished with contemporary cilantro is my favourite curry! I like that it is really easy to make in my very own kitchen. Tender items of rooster are cooked with onions and cashews in a wealthy gravy full of cream and spices.

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bowl of guacamole studded with mango chunks and two tortilla chips

Recent Mango Guacamole

Not your common guacamole – candy mango and inexperienced cilantro carry scrumptious pops of taste to this straightforward dip recipe made with creamy avocado. Rounded out with jalapeños for a spicy kick, all you want is your favourite tortilla chips!

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Close-up overhead photo of coconut chickpea curry in a saucepan near a plate of naan.

Coconut Chickpea Curry

Craving a brand new meatless Monday thought? Look no additional! Vegan coconut curry is wealthy and creamy and loopy straightforward to make, full of toasted chickpeas. veggies, and heat spices.

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Nonetheless hungry? Go to the recipe finder for a whole bunch of wholesome dinner concepts and recipes made together with your favourite herbs and spices!

Sources: Health.com