Coriander, or cilantro, is a delicate aromatic herb. The lush green leaves and stems are a pungent flavour found in regional dishes from Thailand to Mexico, from pad thai to tacos and many others in between. The coriander seed is also widely used for its mellow sweet, peppery taste, and forms the foundation for many curry powders and masalas.
Love it or loathe it? Did you know that around 14% of the population hate it, due to a certain gene which causes what I consider to be delicious to instead taste like soap to those individuals? If you’re one of those 14% I apologise... and will gladly take your coriander off your hands!
Focusing today on the fresh herb, coriander leaves are a carminative (relieve gas), an anti-diabetic (lowers blood sugar), a digestive aid, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial (kills pathogens), and acts as a chelator to bind to heavy metals and assist in removing them from the body. Coriander is more than just a pretty face and delicious herb!
I love coriander. Like I could eat it in salad as a lettuce substitute. Since not everyone is quite so enthusiastic, I use it in smaller amounts in salsa, on tacos, mixed through vegetables, or like today’s recipe, in a peanut, ginger and coriander dipping sauce that is so good you could skip the wraps and just dip a finger in. But don’t, because the veggie packed rice paper wraps are delicious and easy, too.
Ginger Coriander PB Sauce
-1/2 cup Peanut Butter (or almond, cashew, etc)
-2 tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce)
-1 tablespoon Miso (or another tablespoon tamari)
-3cm knob of Ginger
-2 Garlic Cloves
-1/2 a fresh Chilli (or 1 teaspoon dried) ((depending upon your heat tolerance))
-1/2 cup Coriander Leaves
-2 tablespoons Lemon or Lime Juice
The How To:
Take all the above and either toss it all in your NutriBullet or Ninja type small blender with just enough water to get it moving- if you’re gadgetless or want the extra movement, you can finely chop the ginger, chili, garlic and coriander by hand and then mix it all up, again with just enough water added to make a thick but dipping worthy sauce.
I made a veggie packed batch of rice paper wraps to scoop up the sauce. Rice paper rolls are a simple meal ripe for substituting whatever you have on hand. I used radish, pak choi, carrot, avocado, buckwheat noodles and tofu. You can use whichever sliced or grated vegetables sound good, along with tofu, egg,meat. The flavour component is all in the dipping sauce, so maybe double the recipe.
-If you like a slightly sweeter sauce, add 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup.
-If you really, really hate coriander but you’ve read this far, you could ditch the green stuff and have a still delicious coriander-less Ginger Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce.
-The trick to pliable but stable rice paper for rolling up all the tasty stuffings is to use lukewarm water for a brief bath, and then remove the rice paper just as it becomes tacky, not leaving it until it’s soggy. Avoid the urge to turn these into burritos, less is more.
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes & Wholefoods