Rau Ram aka Vietnamese Coriander

This morning's harvest from a prolific plant purchased at Vista Farmers Market - rau ram also known as Vietnamese Coriander/Cilantro, Cambodian Mint, or phak phai in Thailand, among other things.

Persicaria odorate

And the first entry in my work in progress IngredientWiki.

The flavor? As the name indicates, cilantro or fresh coriander is probably the most recognizable association, with a somewhat stronger resinous (or what some might identify as "soapy") element.

If you have sawtooth herb as a flavor reference (known as recao and culantro in some Spanish speaking food cultures and shado beni in certain Caribbean food cultures), then it's very much like that, only much more tender in texture.

A closeup so you can see the beginnings of the characteristic
V-shaped leaf markings...

I first learned to eat it as an accompaniment to hot vin lon, or the Vietnamese equivalent of balut - an occasional indulgence I like to share with LAM.

I would more readily use it as a cilantro substitution in a cooked than raw application, but here in the US, it's more likely you'd have to use cilantro as a substitution for rau ram than the other way around. ;)

And since it's not really a wiki if I'm the only one contributing, if you have experiences or recipes related to this ingredient, please do share in comments!




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