saw-leaf herb

A variety of coriander native to Central America but now grown and very popular in other parts of Latin America and Southeast Asia. Saw-leaf herb goes by many other names including chandon benit, culantro, fitweed, long coriander, Mexican coriander, ngo gai, recao, shadon beni, shadow beni, spiritweed, Tabasco parsley, thorny coriander and wild coriander. It has 4- to 5-inch-long, thick green leaves with jagged edges and a flavor similar to but earthier and stronger than cilantro. Like cilantro, saw-leaf herb has a distinctive flavor that lends itself to highly spiced foods, and it's widely used in Asian and Latin American cooking. It's harder to grow and not as readily available as cilantro but can be found in some Latin American and Asian markets, usually in plastic bags or plastic-wrapped Styrofoam trays. Choose leaves with a bright, even color and no sign of wilting—black leaves indicate rot. Saw-leaf may be stored for up to 1 week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Just before using, wash and blot dry with paper towels.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Next Up

Alex Eats: Herbs

Alex Guarnaschelli shares her suggestions for how to use fresh herbs in recipes.

Herb Garden 101

If you haven't started that herb garden you've been meaning to plant, don't worry--it's not too late. We have a few easy tips to jumpstart you into the growing season.

Preserve Your Herbs

Dry and store your fresh summer herbs so you can enjoy them into fall!

Grow Your Own: Herbs

They’re just tiny sprouts right now but in a few weeks the herbs in my garden will be flourishing. Growing your own herbs is so easy, there’s no reason not to give it a try. Here are some tips to get your started.

Guide to Fresh Herbs

These top 10 herbs will add flavor to your favorite dishes.

Herb of the Month: Dill

The Romans believed this herb was a symbol of good luck. This month we’re celebrating fresh and feathery dill.

Herb of the Month: Tarragon

Tarragon made our list of Top Herbs for Healthy Cooking because it’s easy to grow and its feathery leaves are just as tasty frozen or dried as they are fresh.

Herb of the Month: Mint

In this new series, we’re exploring new ideas using our favorite herbs. Many folks buy or grow fresh herbs but aren’t sure what to do with them. Check these fresh ideas on our first herb, mint.