Common names: Culantro, Ngò Gai, Recao, Chadon Beni, Mexican Coriander, Bandhaniya, Long Coriander, Sawtooth Coriander, Pak Chi Farang
Scientific name: Eryngium foetidum
Plant history & use:
Culantro, or Ngò Gai, is a perennial tropical herb that can be grown outdoors frost-free or in a pot and overwintered indoors for harvest all year round. It is related to "common" cilantro, Coriandrum sativum.
The taste of culantro is reminiscent of cilantro, but it is stronger and more solid. Culantro also retains its flavor and color significantly better when dried, making it popular in the dried spices industry.
Goes well with soups, rice and fish dishes. An example is the Thai soup Tom Yum, where it marries perfectly the other ingredients. It's also common in accompanying seafood sauces, often together with lime, chili and more.
The plant's leaves and roots are also to be used in tea to stimulate the appetite and relieve fever & stomach aches. There are additional areas of use.
Culantro is easy to grow and thrives best in well-drained soils in sun/part shade. The soil should be kept on the drier side, without drying out completely.
It takes about 60 days for the plant to be ready for the first harvest.
Sow directly on the plant site when the soil has warmed up or pre-cultivate indoors. 1 cm deep. Remember to keep the soil moist when growing indoors.
Location: Sun/Part shade
Height: 30-60 cm
Germination Time: 10-30 days
USDA Zone: 7-11