What is the Puerto Rican Herb "Racao"?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Rose Hong
Posted on: September 24, 2003

My neighbor cooked with a leafy spice and small peppers in a Puerto Rican dish with tomatoes and ribs/pork. She called the leaf "racao" and the small round peppers, I don’t know what they are called. Where can I buy this spice or what is it called since I cannot find it by this name?

"Racao" (also spelled "recao") is what we call in our catalogue "Mexican coriander". It is also known as "Puerto Rican coriander" and "thorny coriander". Another name is "culantro".

Like cilantro, the regular coriander, it is grown for the fresh leaf. The leaves are smaller, tougher-textured with a stronger coriander-like flavour and scent.

It is used in Mexican, Caribbean and Vietnamese cooking. The fresh leaves are sold in Toronto area Vietnamese markets which is where I first became familiar with the plant. The Vietnamese call it "ngo gai".

We sell seeds and plants of this wonderful herb. You can find it online at http://mail/richters/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X1892.

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