Culantro opt

Culantro is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Other common names include Mexican coriander and long coriander. It is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated worldwide. In Australia, Europe, and the United States it is not well known outside Latino and Caribbean communities, and the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriander, the leaves of which can be known as cilantro, and which culantro is said to taste like.

Common Names

Commonly known as culantro in English-speaking Caribbean countries, it is also referred to as shado beni (from French chardon béni, meaning “blessed thistle,” not to be confused with the similarly named cnicus benedictus) or bandhaniya (Hindi: बन्धनिय, meaning “shrub cilantro”). Other common names include: culantro coyote (Costa Rica), recao (Puerto Rico), long coriander, wild or Mexican coriander, fitweed, spiritweed, stinkweed, duck-tongue herb, sawtooth or saw-leaf herb, and sawtooth coriander.

In Southeast Asian cooking, the Vietnamese name ngò gai’, The Cambodian (Khmer) name ji ana (ជីររណារ) (other names are ជីរបារាំង ji barang, ជីរយួន ji yuon, ជីរបន្លា ji banla, ជីរសង្កើច ji sankoech), or (less often) the Thai name phak chi farang (Thai: ผักชีฝรั่ง, meaning “Farang’s coriander”) are sometimes used. In India, it is used mainly in the northeastern state of Manipur, where it is known by the local name awa phadigom or sha maroi, Mizoram, where it is known as bahkhawr and Tripura, where it is known as bilati dhonia (Bengali phrase that literally means foreign corriander) and in Nagaland it is commonly known as Burma dhania. In Surinam, it is known as “sneki wiwiri”, meaning snake weed, and is used for preparing homeopathic medicine, but not eaten.

In Peru, where coriander is known as culantro, E. foetidum is used in the cooking of the Amazon region and is referred to as sacha culantro (jungle culantro).

Culinary Uses

Culantro is widely used in seasoning and marinating in the Caribbean, particularly in Panama, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, and in Peru’s Amazon regions.

It is also used extensively in Thailand, India, Vietnam, Laos, and other parts of Asia as a culinary herb. It dries well, retaining good colour and flavour, making it valuable in the dried herb industry.

The leaf is quite tough so it is not eaten raw but added to soups and stews. Overcooking will destroy most of the flavour.

Refer also to Traditional Medicine Uses of Culantro

Nutritional Values

Culantro is reported to be rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin. Fresh leaves are 86–88% moisture, 3.3% protein, 0.6% fat, 6.5% carbohydrate, 1.7% ash, 0.06% phosphorus, and 0.02% iron. Leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A (10,460 I.U./100 g), B2 (60 mg %), B1 (0.8 mg %), and C (150–200 mg %) . On a dry weight basis, leaves consist of 0.1–0.95% volatile oil, 27.7% crude fibre, 1.23% calcium, and 25 ppm boron.


  • Culantro can often be found in Asian markets, however it may be named long coriander so try and remember what it looks like when you go shopping,
  • Another alternative if you have “green fingers” is to grow your own. For seeds and information see Green Harvest.


  • Coriander – The leaves have a similar flavour, and are less bitter


Comments and Feedback

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
Hi There - We notice that you have an ad-blocker
Plenty of visitors do. All we ask is that you please consider sharing us or commenting on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
General Profile
User Information
John Doe
Professor of Botanics
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, John is a superior specialist in growing palms and exotic plants.
Social rating:
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scel erisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas placerat.
Subscribe Now
Join our weekly newsletter for more great recipes
Just before you go
Please consider sharing us or commenting
on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Just before you go - please share us with your friends and followers.
Thank you for visiting
The Taste of Aussie
Subscribe Now
Join our free weekly newsletter to get the best recipes and cooking information.
TrophyWin a copy of "From The Source - Mexico"
Your Entries
Total Entries
Days Left
Mexico's best local cooks - from street food stalls, family-run haciendas and haute-cuisine restaurants - reveal their culinary passions, along with such classic regional recipes as marinated pork tacos, hot lime soup and Oaxacan hot chocolate

Enter the sweepstake to win a copy of this fantastic cookbook.