12 Bold and Zesty Recipes for Cilantro Lovers
Cilantro is popular across the globe, so if you have some left over, put it to work
Cilantro is one of the world’s most popular—and most polarizing—herbs. While some can’t get enough of its bracingly fresh flavor, others crinkle their nose in disgust, decrying a perceived soapiness. We send our condolences to those in the latter camp—hey, it’s not their fault they were born with an olfactory-receptor gene that makes cilantro’s aldehydes taste bitter.
But for cilantro lovers, the herb is a non-negotiable ingredient in dishes ranging from guacamole to Indian chutneys to grilled steak topped with chimichurri. When buying cilantro (aka coriander and Chinese parsley), look for bunches with soft, bright green leaves and stems with as little brown as possible, then store it in a sealed bag in the vegetable drawer, where it will keep for a few days. Unlike parsley, cilantro has sweet, flavorful stems that add crunch and freshness to dishes both cooked and raw—so don’t toss them.
Cilantro and vinegar make a phenomenal foil for rich, juicy grilled steak as this recipe for Argentina’s favorite condiment proves. Get the recipe >
The chia seeds in this chutney are a natural emulsifier, turning an otherwise watery mix into a luxuriously swooshable sauce. Get the recipe >
The best-selling dish at Ma Der Lao Kitchen in Oklahoma City is this chile- and cilantro-packed starter that you can whip up using leftover rice from last night’s takeout. Get the recipe >
Briny sardines and fragrant lemongrass team up in this sweet-and-spicy salad enlivened with sliced red onions and an easy Thai chile sauce. Get the recipe >
Chutneys are all about building layers of flavor, and this creamy, yogurt-based recipe does just that with bushels of cilantro and plenty of lime and chiles. Our favorite cabbage fritters and mung bean pancakes wouldn’t be the same without it. Get the recipe >
To make this stunning red-and-green entrée, whole lobsters are split down the middle, grilled over embers, and spooned with a heady cilantro-chile sauce. Get the recipe >
Nothing against mussels, but for us it’s all about the rich, herbaceous broth at the bottom of the bowl, which we readily sop up like no one’s looking. Get the recipe >
Tender, young cilantro leaves and stems take center stage in this salad from Xinjiang, China, that balances heat and freshness. Get the recipe >
The only tricky step in making this beguilingly bitter salad is sourcing fresh fenugreek, which plays marvelously with cilantro and green peas. Get the recipe >
Cool off with this shamrock-green, kale-infused rum cocktail sweetened with homemade cilantro syrup. Get the recipe >
Our platonic guac ideal is creamy, tart, and suffused with an abundance of fragrant, freshly chopped cilantro. Get the recipe >