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Cilantro...to use the stems or not?

k
kpaxonite Jul 16, 2011 07:14 PM

I use them when I make tacos or burritos but on TV everyone trims it off...any thoughts?

  1. letsindulge Apr 25, 2012 05:25 PM

    Use chopped parsley, and cilantro stems when making soup.

    1. chefj Apr 25, 2012 01:20 PM

      Use them

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj
        1sweetpea Apr 25, 2012 01:41 PM

        I use the stems and leaves as garnishes or stirred into finished dishes. Roots are great for Thai and Vietnamese dishes. I make a spicy condiment from the entire bunch, roots and all, with Scotch Bonnets, lime and salt, that is awesome. Stems are tasty in a Southeast Asian broth or soup. The toughest aspect of cilantro is washing all the dirt and grit away and removing any brown or yellowing leaves and stems. Once clean, the entire bunch has uses.

        1. re: 1sweetpea
          chefj Apr 25, 2012 05:18 PM

          Agreed.
          Roots are hard to come by but make a huge difference in Thai and Lao dishes.
          I never pick the leaves off the stem just slice a little finer towards the stem end of the bunch.

      2. s
        shallots Jul 19, 2011 07:26 PM

        Cilantro grows really easily in the home garden. It does bolt in the heat of summer (so I harvest the seeds then.)

        I use the leaves when I'm coarsely chopping, and the whole green bit when I'm making a sauce that gets emulsified with an immersion blender. I do save stems and freeze them in ice cubes for seasoning Black Bean Soup (Jacques Pepin's wife's recipe.)

        This fall, I hope to start making my own Thai 'blends' as soon as my keffir lime tree gets a bit larger and my hot peppers start producing.

        1. grayelf Jul 19, 2011 04:40 PM

          I used to only use the leaves (PITA to pick them off!). Then I discovered banh mi where cilantro is chucked in by the handful on the stem. Now I put the stems in whenever I think I can get away with it for the extra crunch and flavour.

          Love to use the roots in Thai cooking too. Everytime I get a bunch with roots I cut 'em off and freeze 'em till I have enough for a recipe.

          1. JungMann Jul 19, 2011 07:15 AM

            I see no problem in using stems along with leaves as a garnish for tacos. The stems (and the roots as mentioned below) have a more intense flavor than the leaves, which is why they are favored in bold SE Asian curry pastes and marinades.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JungMann
              p
              pj26 Jul 19, 2011 07:18 AM

              Depends - I would use the leaves on their own for garnish or tossed through a salad but would use the stems in pastes for Thai, Vietnamese food or if whizzing up for sauces, dressings etc. And the roots too - they have the most flavour.

              1. re: pj26
                c
                Chowrin Jul 19, 2011 07:30 AM

                garnish is different, but I always, always use the cilantro stems. Course, I also use broccoli leaves, stems and other things.

            2. luckyfatima Jul 17, 2011 06:14 PM

              I use the stems. They have good flavor.

              1. Rmis32 Jul 17, 2011 05:54 AM

                An Indian cooking teacher told me to use cilantro stems, but not parsley stems. I finely chop cilantro stems.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rmis32
                  h
                  hto44 Jul 17, 2011 10:44 AM

                  This!

                2. TheHuntress Jul 17, 2011 04:20 AM

                  I use the whole thing, stems, roots and all :)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TheHuntress
                    Bada Bing Jul 17, 2011 11:17 AM

                    Indeed, the roots are typically used in Southeast-Asian preparations. I wish American markets sold cilantro (coriander) with roots included.

                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      MrsCheese Jul 17, 2011 05:15 PM

                      I get them with the roots on at my (American) market. Though it is more of a "farmstand" type place. Alas, I only use the leaves. :-)

                      1. re: MrsCheese
                        Bada Bing Jul 17, 2011 05:35 PM

                        Lucky you! If you ever want a Thai/Vietnamese-style curry paste, try washing the roots and mashing or processing them with ginger or galangal root, garlic, peppers, etc. Yummy!

                    2. re: TheHuntress
                      dryrain Jul 19, 2011 06:01 AM

                      I agree depending on the recipes you can use all parts of the plant.

                    3. s
                      sushigirlie Jul 16, 2011 10:34 PM

                      I tend to prefer that the stems be removed. I think they make the cilantro klunky. So you eat a big bunch of cilantro in one bite and no cilantro in the other.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sushigirlie
                        eight_inch_pestle Jul 17, 2011 12:32 AM

                        To clarify, when I include it I still separate stem from leaves, then chop or mince the stem. Clunk-free.

                      2. eight_inch_pestle Jul 16, 2011 08:11 PM

                        Yeah, stems are just fine. Sometimes I remove them for company just because I know there are those who will think it's a faux pas and will snicker behind my back on the way home, never knowing that I know some think it's a faux pas but just happen to disagree.

                        Also? The crunch and punch is a really nice contract.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                          Duppie Jul 16, 2011 08:29 PM

                          I find the stems have a more intense flavor and use then in blended sauces or my scotch bonnet hot sauces.

                        2. paulj Jul 16, 2011 08:07 PM

                          Not everyone. Daisy Martinez does not. In one episode she comments that she was trimming off the stems as taught in culinary school, and her mother corrected her, saying that she should use everything.

                          The stems are tender, but I usually chop them short.

                          How about using parsley stems?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: paulj
                            Veggo Jul 16, 2011 08:26 PM

                            Parsley stems? No soup for you!!

                            1. re: Veggo
                              i
                              iliria Jul 17, 2011 07:56 AM

                              I always use the parsley stems. I chop them really fine and find that they add quite a bit of flavor to the food.

                              I have seen cilantro mentioned quite a bit but I must admit I have no idea what it is. Is it an ingredient used more in the US?

                              1. re: iliria
                                rosetown Jul 17, 2011 08:07 AM

                                Perhaps you know it as coriander?

                                1. re: iliria
                                  b
                                  Buckethead Jul 19, 2011 11:41 AM

                                  In the US we usually call the fresh leaves cilantro and the dried seeds coriander rather than "fresh" vs. "dried" coriander..

                                  I use the stems, the flavor is there just as it is in the leaves.

                                  1. re: iliria
                                    a
                                    AdinaA Apr 25, 2012 12:10 PM

                                    It was rare in most of the U.S. until recent decades, and is still rare in Australia and New Zealand and, well, all the old northern European settled places where there had not been much Latin influence.

                              2. scubadoo97 Jul 16, 2011 07:55 PM

                                Io use the stems most often. Roots too if lucky enough to find them with roots

                                1. v
                                  Val Jul 16, 2011 07:52 PM

                                  The thicker, lower parts of the stems I do remove but hell, the upper parts near the leaves you can certainly leave on...same with parsley *in my opinon.* hee!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Val
                                    ipsedixit Jul 16, 2011 08:18 PM

                                    Yup.

                                  2. r
                                    rainey Jul 16, 2011 07:33 PM

                                    I always trim them completely because I'm one of those people who finds it soapy tasting when the stems are included but I enjoy the flavor when it's just the leaves.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: rainey
                                      k
                                      kpaxonite Jul 16, 2011 07:42 PM

                                      I rather enjoy the texture and feel its more authentic (even though I could be completely wrong since Im from montreal).....I dont get a soapy taste that many people describe...plus its just easier hahha

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