coriander cilantro chinese parsley? love or hate?

OK I have something to admit…I really did not like coriander (or as they call it in the US cilantro or China Chinese parsley) for many many years. It seems I’m not alone, there’s even an online group called I Hate Cilantro!

When I was about 18 I had a friend who cooked tasty South East Asian dishes then one night finished off that bowl with a huge handful of raw coriander leaves. I could smell that coriander  straight away… really pongy foot smell mixed with dirt and something that from that moment on I’ve been unable to eat!  He also cooked great steamed rice, my attempts were inedible soggy messes. I remember 2 Japanese exchange students who came to my parent’s house for dinner one night and I made the white rice, boiled rinsed etc soggy and mushy and the look on their faces as they tried to eat it was priceless!

Even after starting to make green smoothies a few years ago and getting adventurous I’d pick up bunches of coriander thinking it was flat leaf parsley, take a whiff just to make sure and yes urrgghh no mistaking that smell!

Until recently that is and after eating more raw food I discovered  that hey it is not too bad, especially combined with carrot, cucumber, avocado and sprouts in a rice paper roll with a sauce and also in Mexican inspired dishes with avocado tomato cayenne it’s delicious and the not so overwhelming smell goes really well with the right foods.

SO today in the fridge I had a big bunch of locally grown coriander. Yes time to get that coriander in a green smoothie I thought though I was a bit worried that it would ruin it and I end up tipping it out on the compost!


So in today’s green smoothie- makes about 2 litres- I used a cup and a half of water ( add more later when blending if needed) a peeled orange ( leave white part on) a small apple, big bunch coriander ( about 3 cups ) small handfuls of baby spinach and flat leaf parsley , 2 stalks celery, banana, 4 frozen mango cheeks, 2 medjool dates, big slice of ginger, half a lime plus juice from other half, tablespoon coconut oil. I used a bit more fruit than usual because was worried at first about the coriander overpowering everything.

So how did it turn out? DELICIOUS ! I’m now a complete convert and won’t be joining that I Hate Cilantro group anytime soon. Really, don’t they have more important issues to complain about?



This was beautiful, you get a subtle taste of the coriander coming through with a sort of sweet Asian fruity flavour  ( lychees?) so yeah it really goes well with other ingredients. Yum! I’m even trying to grow some now I’m a convert. Plus the leaves are higher in antioxidants than the roots and it is also known in herbal medicine to help anxiety and insomnia plus it is really good for digestion. When you are also a complete green smoothie convert it’s the perfect time to get into some greens you would have previously ignored or used as a garnish on salads etc and get some different greens in your green smoothie!

I think it is like when you go to your favourite restaurant and order the SAME thing every single time. That yummy dish that comes out from the kitchen absolutely the same as last time. I have been there, safe and in my comfort zone.  Usually because you like predictability and don’t like surprises! Well time to welcome the new and unexpected tastes and flavours! Enjoy.


green smoothie recipes using coriander/cilantro

Ever tried a savoury green smoothie? This recipe  is from Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko,  where she includes some incredible savoury green smoothie recipes using a variety of ingredients.


shakti’s green thai

2.5 cups spinach

1/2 bunch coriander

1 clove garlic 1/2 red capsicum

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tsp stevia or 1 green leaf

3 Roma tomatoes

2 cups of water


Green Smoothie Revolution (VIctorian Boutenko)    also has 9 coriander/cilantro recipes. I love this book. The info and  recipes are really comprehensive and cover every edible green grown on the planet!  A few years ago when I was discovering a multitude of different greens, I carried it around in my bag so I could look up info and recipes for the new green I’d just found. That was how I discovered sorrel one day in Bondi and blended with watermelon and nectarine-mm sublime!


cilantro sparkle green pudding

1 bunch coriander

1 mango

1 orange peeled


and this recipe from the beginners section-

red smoothie

1 apple

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup coriander

5 beet leaves with stems

1 cup of water





11 Responses to “coriander cilantro chinese parsley? love or hate?”

  1. Jane E says:

    Yes I sometimes add coriander to my green smoothies. I just add a bit – along with the usual banana, apple, orange and usual greens. As long as you don’t add too much, it is lovely. Too much overpowers the fruit, but a little enhances and makes the usual just a little bit exotic.

    See if you can track down some Greek ladies who grow all sort of weeds (the legal kind). A lady at the Richmond market brings a variety each week, which are home grown. She cannot tell me what they are called, but I have identified stinging nettles and some other hairy leaf (like a massive dandelion), perhaps scotch thistle too…not too sure. All of her weeds look familiar to me, and she recommends boiling, saving the cooled boiled water for drinking afterwards, and then tossing the cooked greens in olive oil and garlic. I just purchase the bags of unidentified greens and thrown them in the Vitamix. She also grows celery (LOTS of leaves, more than stalk), and broccollini which is like a tangle of leaves – great!!!

    • Jane says:

      Hi Jane absolutely agree with you re the coriander and makes the usual green smoothie tastes just a little bit exotic. The markets sound great, I love how other cultures see food where we see a nasty horrible weed that is thrown away! Even clover, violet leaves is edible. Next time you’ll have to find a translator. I recently bought a book from called Edible Weeds and Garden Plants of Melbourne by Doris Pozzi, has great photos identifying 17 wild and garden green edibles. She takes people on wild edible weed walks around Melbourne. The next one is this Saturday (10.11.2012) in Darebin Parklands in Alphington. Her number is 0400 494966 I’d love to come down one day, see you again and go on one of her walks!

    • Cuy says:

      as far as i know, victoria btekunoo does not consider greens to be a vegetable. she thinks they should have their own category and can be easily mixed with any fruit. but some have their preferences and like to stick to strict food combining, so if that works great, but if you like the smoothies and they work for you, that’s great too!

      • Jane says:

        Hi thanks for your feedback. Yes love what she writes in Green For Life about what is a fruit and what is a vegetable and wonders why greens are lumped together with vegetables. I found a big supermarket in Sydney that had a separate Leafy Vegetables section but yes they are rare.

  2. Jane says:

    HI thank you for your feedback. Green smoothies are starting to become more popular which is really great compared to when I started this website and people would generally go urggh what!

  3. Brandi says:

    It’s a pleasure to find such rationality in an asnewr. Welcome to the debate.

  4. Leopold says:

    ice is fine as long as it is not too cold for you or makes you cold. whatever your peererfnce is and whatever it is that you like works best. also, the rotating of the kale is fine but then once you are done with your different kales, move to another family of greens, then back to kale. just good to keep it all rotating, at least ever week or two.

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