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Oct 6, 2007 03:24 PM

Where to find culantro in San Diego?

Has anyone seen culantro in SD. I didn't see it at 99RANCH unless i missed translation.

No, it's not cilantro misspelled, but closely related. Culantro AKA Mexican coriander, Recao, Ngò gai (Vietnam), Sawtooth, etc.
Used in Puerto Rican and Vietnamese recipes.

Thanks in advance for leads.

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  1. Ngo gai is at 99Ranch.

    In the 3rd aisle perpendicular to the back aisle of vegetables, (between the aisle of vegetables and the bend over freezer section) wrapped in a styrofoam and plastic and pre weighed/measured/sold by the pound.

    There is wrapped/premeasured basil next to it. Ask for the basil then you will see it. It is also that way at Vien Dong, Lucky, and pretty much all Asian Markets...not loose like cilantro or parsely or mint.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      Just to confirm what Cathy said, I saw it there just the other day. They also had that other Cilantro relative - I forget the name but it has pointy leaves about the size of a narrow basil leave and a tinge of purple.

      1. re: afinkle

        Are you referring to Thai basil?

        1. re: daantaat

          They have sold Thai basil at 99 and Vien Dong 3.

          I haven't had to buy any basil for about three years now because I apparently got some seeds that were radioactivated in Chernobyl and can't stop growing in my Santee backyard, no matter the weather.

          1. re: Cathy

            Too bad Thai basil doesn't make for good pesto!

            1. re: daantaat

              I bet you could do some "fusion" style pesto - skip the cheese because that would clash with the anise flavor.

          2. re: daantaat

            No - its more like cilantro. A soapy/spicey plant. I said basil for size reference. I think its sometimes called "vietnamese cilantro"

            1. re: afinkle

              I think you are talking about rao ram

      2. One of the Asian markets in City Heights would be a safe bet. There is a good one on the northwest curbline at 54th and University. I think it's Vien Dong Market.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dagney

          That is Vien Dong II; Vien Dong III is on Linda Vista and Ulrich. There don't seem to be others...
          Zion, a Korean market on Mercury near 163, sometimes has sawtooth.