Thai vs Mexican cilantro


Where I live Mexican food and the ingredients are very hard to find. So I try to make it myself. I’ve never actually used cilantro, but I really like the taste in pre-made Mexican food I’ve had, for example salsa. A couple of years ago I was able to find seeds for “Pakuchi” or Thai cilantro. I grew quite a bit of it and picked it at different stages of development. I was quite disappointed though, as the smell alone was overpoweringly bad. Everyone who smelt it said it was disgusting, just like stink bugs (Yes I checked if stink bugs had accidentally snuck in, they did not). It smelt nothing like the cilantro in Mexican food I’ve eaten before.
I kept all in the freezer, but I’m looking to throw it out now. Just wanted to check I’m not missing some step of processing or something. Not sure what’s going on …


This no coincidence. cilantro translates into several languages as stinkbug weed. You simply have very strong Cilantro.


Maybe the food you’ve had was prepared using a different but related herb? There’s something out there called culantro or various other ethnic names, which smells similar. It has long leaves with small prickly serrations. I could send you some seeds if mine mature before the frosts this year.


You have enough culantro seeds for two? In Trinidad where my wife is from you just go outside and pick it out of the grass when you need it. The racao they sell up here is a poor substitute. I am sure @TheNiceGuy was just growing a strong cilantro I know stink bugs and Cilantro.


Yeah just message me in a month or 2. I will try to collect some. It self-seeds in my garden most years and grows at the boundaries of my beds on its own. I eat it in soups and salads.

I’ve never compared the smell of cilantro to stinkbugs, since I really do not remember what those nasties smell like. It might reduce quality of the dining experience too!


Eryngium foetidum - Mexican coriander aka stinkweed.

Coriandrum sativum - true coriander aka Chinese parsley.

Both are referred to as cilantro or culantro depending on locale. The former is perennial in mild climates while the latter is a short-lived annual.

BTW, “Pakuchi” is a transliteration of the Thai name for true coriander.


If you are buying Cilantro seeds, buy the slow bolt variety. Cilantro tries to go to seed at the first chance and the leaves in that state are bitter.


In it’s wild native habitat it has a life-expectancy of 3-5 weeks.


In Thailand, the cilantro/coriander we use is the same coriander/ cilantro you find here coriandrum sativum (ผักชี).

Anything beyond that is likely a marketing ploy to sell seeds.


I was reading that in Japan the two species are differentiated by referring to C. sativum as Thai cilantro and E. foetidum as Mexican cilantro.


The cilantro we use is Coriandrum sativum.

We have another herb that we call “foreign cilantro” (ผักชีฝรั่ง) Eryngium foetidum. It is nothing like cilantro. Since this herb is called foreign cilantro, some Thais call coriandrum sativum Thai cilantro (ผักชีไทย) to differentiate the two.

There is no special Thai cilantro variety.