Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 25, 2008 05:48 PM

Substitutions for cilantro?

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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. 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

        I never thought of mint. I like that idea.

        1. re: lisavf

          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

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

          1. 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 wouldnt' be Bernaise sauce.

            1. 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.