Culantro, in Thailand also known as Pak Chee Farang or Thai Parsley in English or Ngo Gai in Vietnamese or Recao in Cuba is a wonderful fragrant herb.
Culantro has tall, stiff, serrated leaves with a prominent central ridge and a more penetrating aroma than cilantro. Culantro is used extensively in Southeast Asia and parts of the Caribbean, especially Cuba and Puerto Rico where it is used in sofrito.
In Asia, culantro is most popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, where it is commonly used with or instead of cilantro for soups, noodle dishes, and curries.
Culantro (Eryngium foetidum L., Apiaceae) is a biennial herb indigenous to continental Tropical America and the West Indies. Although widely used in dishes throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Far East, culantro is relatively unknown in the United States and many other parts of the world and is often mistaken and misnamed for its close relative cilantro or coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.).
Some of its common names descriptive of the plant include: spiny or serrated coriander, shado beni and bhandhania (Trinidad and Tobago), chadron benee (Dominica), coulante (Haiti), recao (Puerto Rico), and fit weed (Guyana). Also known as; Chinese ci yuan sui - pricky coriander, Hindi bhandhania broad coriander or Malay ketumbar Jawa Jawanese coriander. English saw leaf herb refers to the serrated leafs, which loosely remind to a saw.
Culantro grows naturally in shaded moist heavy soils near cultivated areas. Under cultivation, the plant thrives best under well irrigated shaded conditions. Like its close relative cilantro, culantro tends to bolt and flower profusely under hot high-light long days of summer months.