Have you ever heard of Culantro? It’s an Asian herb that adds a distinctive smell to your dishes. Let's keep reading to find out how to use it in your cooking!
For those who have never heard of it, Culantro is a herb that’s in the same family as celery, parsley, and carrots. Many people get confused when they first hear of Culantro because it sounds a lot like cilantro. In fact, these are two different types of herbs.
This article will give you some insights about how to grow, keep it fresh, and most importantly, how to cook it to have an amazing flavor. Let's get started, shall we?
How do you grow Culantro?
On average, it should be somewhere between 20 to 25 days. In some cases, if you maintain the temperature between 24 to 27 Celsius degree, it will grow a lot faster.
Rich and moist soil is the best condition to grow cilantro. It also grow in the sun; however, you have to be careful because the leaves may be partially fade if it is overexposed to the sun.
Linda Claire – owner and founder of GrowHerbsGarden.com, recommends you should harvest after 2 or 3 months of growing. You can cut individual leaves from the plant or harvest all at once.
How to Keep It Fresh?
Culantro, just like other herbs, gets dry very quickly in average temperature. Here is a quick tip that I accidentally found out from Linda Claire from Growherbsgarden.com
She recommended that because Culantro can get dehydrated very fast, just a few days after harvesting. Below are steps to keep Culantro from drying. In doing so, you can keep Culantro fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Step 1: Wash the bottom of the Culantro under the water.
Step 2: Rinse it to make sure the leaves are completely dry
Step 3: Prepare a jar or a cup of water with a certain amount of water in there. Place the Culantro into the water.
Step 4: It is highly recommended to keep Culantro in the fridge. Use a plastic bag to cover the herb. According to Linda Claire, cover the herb loosely with a plastic bag can keep it fresh for a long period of time.
Step 5: After a few days, change the water if the water changes its color.
A Few Tips to Use Culantro
Here are a few tips given by GrowHerbsGarden.com to get the best flavour from Culantro:
Puerto Rican recipes
Culantro is one of the essential ingredients in Puerto Rican recipes. In most cases, the leaves are chopped and used as a spice to soups. Due to its popularity, most people in Puerto Rico have a pot of Culantro in their home, so they do not need to buy it.
One interesting thing about Culantro is that it can reproduce pretty fast. Once you plant it in the ground, it will keep growing over time.
If you have traveled to Vietnam, there is a high chance you have tried Pho – a traditional dish in this country.
Culantro is one of the essential ingredients to bring out a unique flavor in Pho that none of the other herbs can do.
Just like Puerto Rican, the leaves will be chopped into small pieces and add to the soup. The smell of Culantro in the soup of Pho is one of the things that make this dish so well-known around the world.
Culantro is a particular herb that has many different uses apart from cooking. In Carribean areas, it is also used as a remedy for many common illnesses. Vomiting, fever, cold, and diarrhea.
The leaves will be boiled for half an hour, and the patient will drink the water with Culantro leaves in it. The root can be consumed raw to alleviate stomach pains.
Culantro can also be used as a treatment tea for constipation, flu, and diabetes. This method is widely popular in Asian countries.
The taste and strong smell of Culantro will help reduce flu symptoms and boost your immune system.
Some people may mistake culantro and cilantro. They are two different herbs. From the texture of the leaves, the smell as well as how to cook it, cilantro and Culantro are very different.
Culantro is mostly cooked in high heat to help bring out the smell. Cilantro, in contrast, would be recommended to consume raw.
However, the way to keep these two herbs fresh is almost the same. You can follow the steps above to keep cilantro fresh, too.
The Last Words
Culantro is a useful herb that has a lot of health benefits. Curing diseases by using Culantro has been prevalent in many countries.
Besides, growing and storing Culantro is not so complicated. In fact, all you need is to invest a little bit of your time at the first stage, and the herb will reproduce itself very fast.