Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cooking with Coriander Seeds

What is Coriander?

Coriander is the seed (dry fruit) from the cilantro plant. Did you know that outside of the U.S., cilantro leaves are commonly referred to as coriander?

I have not been exposed to coriander up until last year. Probably because it is not a common spice used in Korean cooking. Now that my eyes have been opened, I am going to try to incorporate this spice more.
You can buy coriander seeds whole or grounded. They are readily available at your local grocery store. 

I prefer the whole seeds since you can grind them fresh for maximum flavor. And, you have the flexibility of using them whole when a recipe calls for it.

I have read recommendations on toasting it before grinding for even more flavor.

You can grind the whole seeds with a coffee bean grinder. I use my Magic Bullet. You can also use a mortar and pestle.

What does it tastes like?

It doesn't taste like cilantro but shares the same floral quality. Coriander seed tastes like it smells. It has a lemon citrus flavor. It gives you the lemon essence without the harsh acidic qualities of lemon. It's dry so doesn't add extra liquid like lemon juice does. 

I recently used on sautéed chicken and it was very subtle (only 1/2 teaspoon). 

Be careful of how much you use...
When I made my first batch of picked watermelon rind for the first time, I added 1 tbsp of coriander seeds and thinly sliced lemon in the pickling liquid . The finished pickle was extremely tart. I thought it was from adding the lemon, but now I realize that it was probably the coriander that made the flavor so prominent. 

Common Uses

  • Curries
  • Picking spice
  • Pair with other spices like cumin, chili
  • Add to marinades for chicken, shrimp, pork

Here are some recipes from Bon Appetit 

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