Culantro is a culinary and medicinal leafy green herb with a flavor similar to cilantro, though stronger; it's used in cooking and marinating foods in the Caribbean, though is also popular in Thai, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asian cuisines.
The appearance of culantro and cilantro are different but the leaf aromas are similar, although culantro is more pungent. Fresh, it is a somewhat thin bright green leaf with a a stem.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
It is used mainly as a seasoning in the preparation of a range of foods, including vegetable and meat dishes, chutneys, preserves, sauces, and snacks. The most popular and ubiquitous example is salsa, a spicy sauce prepared from tomatoes, garlic, onion, lemon juice, with liberal amounts of chiles. These constituents are fried and simmered together, mixed to a smooth paste and spiced with fresh herbs including culantro.
Conserving and Storing
Fresh and cut from the plant, store in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel or cloth. If in a sauce or salsa, store in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.