Few foods are as polarizing as cilantro. To some, it’s a flavorful herb that adds a lovely earthiness to any dish. Others can’t stand it, claiming it tastes like soap (a trait which according to studies, could actually be genetic). If you fall in the “cilant-no thank you” group, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ingredients that can provide a similar bold punch of flavor. Here are 5 of the best substitutions for cilantro.
Cilantro and parsley are actually cousins, so this sub would make sure you’re keeping it in the family. Parsley has a similar appearance to cilantro, giving your dishes the vibrant, green herb garnish it deserves. Flavor-wise, it’s not as citrusy as cilantro and its flavor profile is far less polarizing.
2. Thai basil
Thai basil has more spice than traditional basil, so it’s a good replacement for cilantro if you’re looking to maintain that signature zip. It does, however, have a licorice-like flavor, which isn’t for everyone. But if you’re looking for a flavor-blasted herb that’ll rev up the taste buds, look no further.
Lemon and cilantro look nothing alike, but a squeeze of lemon is a great way to mimic cilantro’s unique, citrusy flavor. Lemons (and limes) are great substitutes for cilantro, but the two also work wonderfully together in dishes like tom yum soup.
4. Fresh mint
Mint has a strong taste, but you can eliminate some of that menthol flavor by adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, according to Spiceography. Mint leaves also look the part as a garnish, if you’re looking to exclusively use the herb as an aesthetic replacement for cilantro.
Dill is another green herb that’ll look and taste great as a garnish for a wide range of dishes. Dill and cilantro don’t have very similar tastes, but dill works in similar ways by providing bold accents to dishes like salmon or chicken soup.
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