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5 Substitutes for Cilantro

Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, Mexican parsley, pak chee, koyendoro, culantrillo, green coriander or coriander leaf, is used throughout the world as a green vegetable and as a seasoning. Cilantro is used to season salsas, stir-fries, curries, soups, stews, meats and salad dressings. The stems, leaves and roots are most commonly used, while the plant's seeds-- caleld coriander-- are also used as seasonings.
If you are interested in cooking a dish that calls for cilantro, you may need to use a cilantro substitute. The following 5 cilantro substitutes can be used in most recipes that call for the herb.
Italian Parsley
Cilantro and parsley are only distantly related, but they are slightly similar in taste and appearance. Consider using classic Italian parsley, curly-leaf parsley or flat-leaf parsley as a cilantro substitute in your favorite recipes. If you'd like, you can add a bit of lemon juice and some ground coriander to make the flavor resemble cilantro.
Mint Leaf
Use mint leaves as a cilantro substitute if you don't have access to cilantro or parsley. Use half of the amount of spearmint that you would use if you were cooking with cilantro. A small amount of balsamic vinegar can curb the chilly flavor of the mint leaves, making the cilantro substitute more viable.
The Mexican herb papalo, also known as papaloquelite, is very similar in taste and fragrance to cilantro. However, it is more pungent and has a much stronger odor. Use 2/3s of the amount of papalo that you would use in a recipe calling for cilantro, or use equivalent amounts if you want your food to have a stronger flavor.
Basil leaf is somewhat similar to cilantro; both herbs have a slightly sweet and exotic flavor. Like cilantro, basil is strongest when used raw and loses its flavor quickly during cooking. Substitute cilantro for basil in Mediterranean recipes for an interesting flair, or use basil in lieu of cilantro if you dislike cilantro leaf's alkaline flavor.
Celery Leaf
Although celery leaves aren't ofen used as seasonings, they can act in place of cilantro in many recipes. Because of their mild flavor and cilanto-like texture, celery leaves lend a very similar flavor to salsas and stir-fries. Simply purchase celery stalks and use the leaves as cilantro substitutes, instead of throwing them in the trash or compost.


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  5. There is no substitute for cilantro.

    1. There is for people who think it taste like soap.

  6. I am one of those people with the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, so thank you for this post. So many summer salads call for cilantro and I was not sure what to substitute. :)

  7. It is not that I dislike cilantro or that I wouldn't use it if I had it but rather than go to the grocery store if I have something that I can use as a substitute that I might already have on hand