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Jul 14, 2008 12:02 PM

I don't like Cilantro

I am making an avocado/mango relish to go with a piece of seared Ahi. Several receipes call for cilantro, but I don't like it. Will the taste suffer, or can I sub-in something else.


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  1. Maybe just use some Italian parsley?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      You could also add a little jalapeno to add a little zip, if needed.

    2. I don't like it either. Tastes like soap. We are not alone. Lots of people don't like cilantro.

      I always skip it when it is called for. I eat it only when it can't be avoided.

      7 Replies
      1. re: laliz

        Try Mexican Basil aka Cinammon Basil other ideas would include Epazote (very strong flavor should be lightly sauteed or sweated), Hoja Santa (or Fennel Tops if you can't find it), or Pipicha (very interesting, complex herb that ranges from pine oil to citrus & mint).

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Interested in Mex basil EN - where and how is it used?

          PS> In Tj I got a a magazine called Delicias de [estado de] Tabasco - I'll bring it up - recipe for platano tortillas even!

          1. re: kare_raisu

            It is primarily used among the indigenous communities of Northern Mexico such as the Seri, Tarahumara, Yaqui etc., as far south as the Chichimecas. Not much has been written about their foodways... all I know is that Basil, "Oregano" and other hardy plants are the primary herbs used in those dry, windy places.. and that there are many varieties that have barely been catalogued there.

            1. re: kare_raisu

              Also, the time I prepared tacos of Chicken thighs marinaded in Chipotle.. and served with Roquefort Crema & Chopped Basil... that was Mexican Basil I used as its other names imply it has a nice spicy, woody flavor to it and is much less "green" than say Italian or Thai basil... probably a little closer to the basil used in Pho than say Italian basil.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                ah yes! how could i forget. is the cinnamon basil native or a spaniard intro? have you found any spanish language mentions of it on the web?

                1. re: kare_raisu

                  I have read conflicting reports about whether its native or not. As I have sifted through the arguments it seems there are some basil like plants that are NOT related to basil that are collectively called Mexican Basil. There is also the gamut of true basil (including the sweet Italian styles, a Cinammon basil, Lemon basil etc.,) that are found around Mexico and are most certainly of old world origin. However, it seems some Basil was brought by the Spaniards, while Cinammon Basil & other varieties were really brought by the Portuguese via India.

            2. re: Eat_Nopal

              Pipicha sounds interesting. Where can you find such an herb? I live in Central Florida.

          2. Follow your taste buds. Personally, I love cilantro and feel it adds a nice, bright, herbal flavor to salsas and the like. However, you could certainly make the dishes without it. Italian parsley will add color, or you could experiment with other herbs.

            Btw, there are many threads on the General Board about those who like/dislike cilantro, such as this one:

            1. Well, for those of us who adore cilantro, the taste suffers if left out. But if you hate it, it will certainly taste better without it. Like MMRuth, I would substitute Italian parsley for some "green" color and flavor if I were making it for my mother (who also hates cilantro).

              1 Reply
              1. re: dkenworthy

                Umm...beg to differ. I am in the same boat as the OP. Over the years, I have done as suggested: substitute European/Oriental herbs for the cilantro. It just never tasted "right". IMHO, you get more "authentic" taste (whatever that means...) by simply leaving out the cilantro.

              2. I am also a cilantro lover so let me get that out of the way... sorry.
                Anyway, basil and mint either together or on their own is what I go for if I am out of cilantro and decide last minute to make Thai or Asian, these herbs will satisy us.

                You don't have that pronounced flavor that only comes from cilantro, but the other two herbs are just as lovely especially with mango and avocado. Add a little lime too, brightens everything and for additional flavor notes...

                3 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  I agree that basil and mint are both a great combo and a reasonable cilantro sub, either together or singly, depending on the dish.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Made larb last night and use all three: cilantro, mint and basil. Cilantro could have been omitted, IMHO, and no harm done to exciting flavors.

                    1. re: Scargod

                      I know, I for years just didn't use mint. My loss! I buy the three every week w/o fail. I love mint now, use it sooo often in quite a few dishes. All of the herbs are wonderful fresh. But I also, when I make larb (my version) chop herbs, and cook it with the meat, lime and onions. We love it.