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Dec 29, 2012 05:08 AM

Salsa verde without cilantro?

Hi all,

Yesterday I made about 7 dozen spicy pork tamales. I already made red chile sauce but I LOVE salsa verde-one problem- I am one of those "soapy.metallic taste" cilantro haters. I just can't get past it, I can't stand the taste. I know it won't be "authentic" but I'm just looking for it to be good. Can I make a standard salsa verde without cilantro? Just omit from the ingredients.

It will be my first time trying to make it at home. I have the tomatillos (fresh) onion, jalapenos (no Serrano around here right now) a lime and some garlic if needed (recipe calls for it.)
Also if anyone would like to chime in, should I just remove the husks from the tomatillos, cut in half and roast in the oven or is boiling better? Or both?


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  1. I googled up a few recipes that didn't have cilantro in them, but they didn't have tomatillos or jalapenos either so I'm not sure what to tell you about that.

    I think Salsa Verde just means green sauce, which isn't exactly helpful for your situation in narrowing things down.

    Have you tried Thai Coriander (also called Sawtooth coriander)? (In Australia both the plant and the seed are called Coriander, no Cilantro)
    It tastes similar to cilantro but is a different herb altogether. Maybe it won't set off your tastebuds like cilantro does.

    This thread might also help (substitute for cilantro):

      1. re: paul balbin

        I <3LOVE<3 chucheman!

        RE the OP, just leave it out if you don't like it.

        On boiling versus roasting, oven or pan roasted gives a different character to the salsa, so it just depends on what you are looking for---underlying smokiness and charred taste from roasting, or just tomatillo tang and zip. Some people also put them into salsas unboiled and raw for the fresh and un-muted citrusy zing.

        1. re: paul balbin

          OMG, Chucheman. Love him, what a hoot.

        2. I like cilantro but ive been making tomatillo sauce without it :)

          I roast the tomatillos whole. Remove the papery covering and wash off the stickiness. Put them in a cast-iron pan, add an onion cut into quarters, a whole chile pepper, a few cloves of garlic (or not). Drizzle everything with olive oil and roast at 400F or so until the tomatillos are soft & have some browned spots. Let cool then purée in a blender or food processor, add salt & pepper to taste.

          Extra sauce freezes well & is killer with chicken.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gimlis1mum

            A tomatillo salsa is my first choice with spicy tamales.

          2. Celery leaves are the closest non-offending substitute for cilantro.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Karl S

              I agree, much better than parsley. I do this routinely since cilantro haters turn up unexpectedly.

              1. re: magiesmom

                And we thank you very much. We are estimated to be about 25% of people, so it's not a rare thing, but quite common.

            2. I sub Italian Parsley, even for guac!

              1 Reply
              1. re: treb

                Parsley is what most people sub, but it's a different flavor profile; celery leaves offer the good parts of the cilantro flavor without the bad parts. Try it sometime.