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
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.
In need of new bed frames?