Sawtoothed coriander

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed an entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, but now I am back to share with you this wonderful Thai herb called pak-chee or sawtoothed coriander, named so because of the leaves which are long, slender and serrated. It has a similar but rather more pungent flavour than the cilantro leaf. It is easier to cultivate than cilantro, so now this takes the place of cilantro in most of the dishes I cook at home. They are perennial so they tend to last long unlike cilantro. Here is how it looks.

The scientific name of pak chee is Eryngium foetidum. Pak chee is one of the herbs used in Southeast Asian cooking (except Philippines *sigh*) and is one of the flavors in the Thai soup tom yum. Other names are Mexican coriander, fitweed and long coriander. Interestingly, while it tastes and smells like the cilantro, it grows well in areas where the cilantro doesn’t grow well because of the heat.

So hurray for me, I have an alternative to cilantro. We don’t use this herb in Philippine cooking (hence the sigh above) but I was lucky to have neighbors from Myanmar. They eat a lot of this and it grows well in their garden. They gave me the carte blanch to “raid” their pak chee plots anytime I want! Since they are so easy to grow, I have my own patch of pak chee in our garden already. One of the dishes I savor with pak chee is Thai fried rice.

Thai Fried Rice

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Thai shrimp paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp chili flakes (add more if you want)
4 cups leftover cooked rice
2 eggs, scrambled, fried and sliced into strips
4 pak chee leaves, chopped
green mangoes, sliced thinly
fresh chilis
extra pak chee leaves

Heat oil in a wok and add the shrimp paste. Stir in the garlic and mix everything till garlic is translucent. Add chili flakes. Add the cooked rice and stir constantly till rice is well-heated throughout. Add half of the eggs and mix well. Turn off heat then add the pak chee. Put rice on a plate and garnish with mangoes, chilis and extra pak chee leaves.

Siri from Siri’s Corner hosts this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging recap.

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Comments

  1. This is a new herb for me, at least this version of it. Cool.

  2. there’s so many of that here in Miami. Apparently, the hispanic cooking uses the saw-toothed cilantro a lot, but I’ve never used them. I didn’t know how :o)

  3. Now, you got me all excited, I have to get myself a pak chee plant. We love cilantro and add it to almost all our dishes, Thai inspired or not :) It’s true, cilantro is hard to grow. It wilts immediately after one harvest and I have to plant new seeds again… :( But this pak chee has possibilities!!! :)

  4. Jescel, do try it instead of cilantro. It’s really good.

    Ning, if you were nearby I could send you some. They’re quite easy to grow.

  5. Yeah I love the taste of it in tom yum soup. Haven’t had it in awhile so I’ll be keeping my eye out for it next time I’m at the farmer’s market. What a great informative blog. Keep up the good work, I’ll be back often.

  6. We use this in our Vietnamese pho’ a lot. Nice blog you’ve got!

Trackbacks

  1. […] and limes. Cilantro is very hard to come by in GenSan. Good thing I have a better alternative, pakchee or kolantro. Instead of lime (another rarity), I had calamansi on hand. Presto, I have a one-dish […]

  2. […] laarb, you will need the following herbs as the basic ingredient: cilantro, mint, and shallots. The sawtoothed coriander above, has similar tasted with cilantro and you can combine both and just use one of them.  You […]

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