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I don't like Cilantro

yummyinmytummy Jul 14, 2008 12:02 PM

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.


  1. kare_raisu Jul 14, 2008 04:46 PM

    I might start another thread on this - but onthe subject of Cilantro in Mexican cuisine is it perhaps a Far East - Mexico transplant?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu
      MMRuth Jul 14, 2008 04:47 PM

      Do - please. I've heard it referred to as Chinese parsley.

      1. re: MMRuth
        MMRuth Jul 14, 2008 05:24 PM

        Maybe we could just add on here:


      2. re: kare_raisu
        chef chicklet Jul 15, 2008 08:29 AM

        please, I'm interested to hear what people know. There also mid east & Indian cuisine..corinader seeds at least? Where did it originate?

      3. e
        ernieh Jul 14, 2008 04:42 PM

        I’m glad that I’m not the only one who don't like it, unfortunately I like Asian food and a lot of the menu calls for cilantro !


        2 Replies
        1. re: ernieh
          Morganna Jul 15, 2008 06:00 AM

          I've found that just leaving it out works very well for me. Both my husband and I hate cilantro, and I just never ever buy it. Once in a while, like in a salsa, I can had just a very few leaves of it, so you don't really taste the cilantro, and that works, but usually it's not worth buying it at all so I don't bother.

          There's a genetic things that makes some people hate cilantro. Makes it taste like soap or pennies (I think it tastes like soap, my husband thinks it tastes like pennies). That's one reason I didn't like the pho I got at a pho shop, it just had -way too much- cilantro in it. :)

          I wonder if you could ask for things to be without cilantro in a pho shop. Somehow I doubt it...

          1. re: Morganna
            Eat_Nopal Jul 15, 2008 07:53 AM

            Most Pho I've had in California & Hawaii is served with the Cilantro as a garnish you can choose how much you put in... along with basil, chiles, sprouts etc.,

        2. n
          normalheightsfoodie Jul 14, 2008 01:40 PM

          I substituted minced chive last night in an avocado soup recipe.

          1. The Chowhound Team Jul 14, 2008 01:10 PM

            Forgive the interruption, but if posters want to discuss individual reactions to cilantro, please do so on the General Topics board.


            1. chef chicklet Jul 14, 2008 12:27 PM

              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
                Karen_Schaffer Jul 14, 2008 01:23 PM

                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
                  Scargod Jul 15, 2008 07:41 AM

                  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
                    chef chicklet Jul 15, 2008 08:23 AM

                    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.

                2. d
                  dkenworthy Jul 14, 2008 12:18 PM

                  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
                    jerry i h Jul 14, 2008 05:16 PM

                    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. DanaB Jul 14, 2008 12:16 PM

                    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: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/488127

                    1. l
                      laliz Jul 14, 2008 12:09 PM

                      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
                        Eat_Nopal Jul 14, 2008 12:19 PM

                        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
                          kare_raisu Jul 14, 2008 04:38 PM

                          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
                            Eat_Nopal Jul 14, 2008 07:03 PM

                            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
                              Eat_Nopal Jul 14, 2008 07:06 PM

                              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
                                kare_raisu Jul 14, 2008 07:45 PM

                                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
                                  Eat_Nopal Jul 14, 2008 09:57 PM

                                  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
                              food_eater79 Jul 14, 2008 05:09 PM

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

                          2. MMRuth Jul 14, 2008 12:03 PM

                            Maybe just use some Italian parsley?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MMRuth
                              MMRuth Jul 14, 2008 12:18 PM

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

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