What is Saw Leaf | Vietnamese Coriander?
Yes, we know it can be confusing. Saw Leaf, also known as Vietnamese coriander, is known by many other names. It also goes by the name Vietnamese mint, or laksa leaf. The herb is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine. It has a slightly peppery and citrusy flavor, which adds a unique and refreshing taste to dishes. Vietnamese coriander is often used in soups, salads, spring rolls, and various meat and seafood dishes in Vietnamese cooking.
History & background
Vietnamese coriander has been used in Vietnamese cuisine for many centuries. Culinary herbs and spices have been an integral part of Vietnamese cooking traditions for a long time, and Vietnamese coriander has been among the herbs commonly employed in traditional recipes. Its distinctive flavor and aroma have made it a popular ingredient in Vietnamese cooking for generations.
What form does it come in?
Vietnamese coriander is typically available in fresh form, as the leaves are commonly used in cooking. You can find it in grocery stores or markets that specialize in Asian ingredients or herbs. It is usually sold in bunches or as individual leaves.
In some cases, you may also find Vietnamese coriander sold as potted plants, allowing you to grow it at home and have a fresh supply readily available.
Apart from the fresh form, Vietnamese coriander may also be available in dried or powdered form, although it is less common. Dried Vietnamese coriander leaves can be used as a substitute when fresh leaves are not available, although the flavor may differ to some extent.
Fresh Vietnamese coriander is often preferred for its vibrant flavor and aroma, but if you can’t find it locally, dried or powdered forms can still provide a hint of its characteristic taste to your dishes.
And if you ever run out of Vietnamese Coriander we have included a link to our substitutes section where you can find an alternative.
A generous pack of 3,000 Saw Leaf: Vietnamese Coriander seeds.
Grow your own so you always have a constant supply of fresh herbs.
This product is organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free.
Sow indoors, before transplanting outdoors in partial shade.
Is Saw Leaf good for you?
Vietnamese coriander, like many herbs, can be beneficial for health when consumed as part of a balanced diet. It contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can contribute to overall well-being. Here are some potential health benefits associated with Vietnamese coriander:
- Nutritional content: Vietnamese coriander is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like calcium and iron. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy bodily functions.
- Antioxidants: Like many herbs and spices, Vietnamese coriander contains antioxidants that help protect the body against oxidative stress and cellular damage caused by free radicals.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Some compounds found in Vietnamese coriander, such as polyphenols, have anti-inflammatory effects. This may also potentially help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Digestive support: Vietnamese coriander has been traditionally used to aid digestion. It is believed to have carminative properties that can help alleviate digestive discomfort and promote healthy digestion.
It’s worth noting that individual health benefits may vary, and the overall impact of Vietnamese coriander on health is influenced by various factors such as the amount consumed and an individual’s overall diet and health condition. As with any food or herb, moderation is key. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice.
Vietnamese coriander has a distinct and vibrant flavor profile. It is often described as having a combination of flavors, including:
- Spiciness: Vietnamese coriander has a mild to moderate spiciness, similar to black pepper or chili peppers. This adds a subtle heat to dishes.
- Citrusy and tangy: It has a tangy and slightly sour taste, reminiscent of lime or lemon. This citrusy element adds a refreshing and zesty note to dishes.
- Herbaceousness: Vietnamese coriander has a strong herbal flavor, similar to cilantro but with a more peppery and pungent edge. This herbal quality contributes depth and complexity to dishes.
Overall, the flavor of Vietnamese coriander is unique and lends itself well to enhancing the taste of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian dishes. It is often used as a fresh garnish or incorporated into sauces, marinades, and dressings to bring a lively and aromatic component to the meal.
Cooking with Ginger
Vietnamese coriander has been used in Vietnamese cuisine for many centuries. However, it is challenging to determine the exact date of its first usage. Culinary herbs and spices have been an integral part of Vietnamese cooking traditions for a long time. And Vietnamese coriander has been among the herbs commonly employed in traditional recipes. Its distinctive flavor and aroma have made it a popular ingredient in Vietnamese culinary preparations for generations.
- Soups: It is often added to Vietnamese soups like pho, bun bo Hue, and canh chua (sour soup) to add a fresh and aromatic element to the broth.
- Salads: Vietnamese coriander can be used as a flavorful addition to salads, providing a peppery and tangy note. It pairs well with other herbs like mint and Thai basil.
- Stir-fries and curries: The herb can be incorporated into stir-fries and curries to infuse a distinctive flavor. Add it towards the end of cooking to preserve its fresh taste.
- Spring rolls and summer rolls: Vietnamese coriander can be included as an ingredient in fresh spring rolls or summer rolls, adding an herbal and spicy kick to the rolls’ fillings.
- Dipping sauces: The leaves of Vietnamese coriander can be finely chopped and mixed with other ingredients to create flavorful dipping sauces for grilled meats or spring rolls.
- Marinades and dressings: The herb can be blended or finely chopped to create marinades or dressings for meat, seafood, or vegetable dishes, adding a unique and vibrant taste.
- Herbal infusions: Vietnamese coriander can be steeped in hot water to make an herbal infusion, which is believed to have medicinal properties and can be enjoyed as a refreshing beverage.
Vietnamese coriander is a versatile herb that is generally used in cooking. It can also be used to help with mild stomach complaints, such as stomach pain or constipation. And did you know that in Asia it is believed that Vietnamese Coriander can also help reduce sexual desire!
Finally, if you are looking for an alternative to Saw Leaf: Vietnamese Coriander, or Vietnamese mint substitute, you could consider cilantro. Or you could also choose Thai basil, mint, lemon basil, watercress, or parsley. Each can bring a slightly different nutty flavor to your dish.
Remember that these alternatives may not provide an exact match in terms of flavor. But they can offer similar characteristics or complement the overall taste of your dishes. Experimenting with different herbs can also lead to exciting and unique flavor combinations.