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Substitutions for cilantro?

lisavf Apr 25, 2008 05:48 PM

I REALLY don't like cilantro, but I'm sure I'll be missing a flavor component if I leave it out of certain recipes completely. I've been substituting flat-leaf parsley, but I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas for substitutions?

  1. r
    rexsreine Apr 25, 2008 06:02 PM

    It took me years to like cilantro, now I always have it in the fridge. That said, I feel the same way about tarragon. I leave that herb out - unless it's a recipe that relies solely on tarragon for seasoning. So, if your recipe has other flavorful ingredients, your flat-leaf parsley is doing just fine. It's all personal taste.


    1. k
      katnat Apr 25, 2008 06:15 PM

      although it doesn't taste at all the same, I sometimes use mint as a substitute, probably because I associate both mint and cilantro with vietnamese cooking and they both share that vibrant, fresh flavor.

      3 Replies
      1. re: katnat
        lisavf Apr 25, 2008 06:32 PM

        I never thought of mint. I like that idea.

        1. re: lisavf
          TongoRad Apr 25, 2008 06:41 PM

          Another herb to consider is fresh fenugreek (or methi leaves). Depending on what you are cooking you may find that one herb substitute works better than the others (i.e. the methi is a good choice in a classic kebab recipe like a chapli, or the mint in a lentil or other legume salad, etc.)- or you might like a combination of mint/parsley best, for example.

        2. re: katnat
          emby Apr 25, 2008 08:37 PM

          Along the same lines as katnat, I sometimes use Thai basil as a cilantro substitute. I've heard it described as having a more "licorice-like" flavor than Italian or other basil varieties.

        3. 280 Ninth Apr 25, 2008 06:55 PM

          Or, depending on what you're making, chives can work.

          1. q
            QSheba Apr 26, 2008 06:21 AM

            You can, literally, substitute other fresh herbs for cilantro, but IMO, it completely changes the flavor of the dish... Pad thai w/ mint?- not the same. Guacamole w/ basil is NOT guacamole. You may create another dish that you enjoy, but it's not the same.... Of course adapting and adjusting a recipe is part of the fun of cooking and learning to cook...but when you switch out an ingredient...*its not the same dish!* I mean, you can't use basil in the place of tarragon in Bernaise sauce....it wouldnt' be Bernaise sauce.

            1. goodhealthgourmet Apr 26, 2008 06:41 AM

              of course it's your prerogative to use any herb you like, it just won't taste the same. there's no other herb that has the same bright, green flavor as cilantro. it also has a hint of anise, so you might want to take that into consideration when substituting.

              1. c
                CeeBee Apr 26, 2008 07:56 AM

                I'm allergic to cilantro/corriander and a few people have suggested using celery leaves. I've done so in guacamole and a few salsas and it did add a nice note.

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