Musings from Kyoto Japan, mostly on Mushrooms, Food, Travel and the like

How to Make Coriander Oil – Easy, Convenient and Tastes Wonderful

These wee fellers are springing up in my garden in a frenzy of wholly unanticipated early autumnal action (My history of coriander sativa cultivation has been patchy to say the least).

So I decided to make up some coriander oil, an all-purpose beauty that serves well as a dressing or for cooking with. Coriander seems to have as many detractors as fans (that’s cilantro for my transatlantic buddies) but I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Here’s a swift how-to: Prepare a pan of boiling water, and a bowl of ice water. Plunge the coriander into the boiling water for all of eight seconds, then put it immediately into the ice water, then strain off the water. This ensures that the coriander retains its bright green colour.

You can just pat off the excess water now, but I prefer to sun-dry it when the weather permits (as it did this morning).

Then combine equal amounts of extra-virgin olive oil and a lighter vegetable oil of your choice. As I happened to have some lying around, I used safflower oil. Quantities depend on how much coriander you have; around 50ml of each did me fine. The less oil you use, the stronger the resultant taste. There is the option to strain it through a sieve, but I can never be bothered.

Then blend the whole lot together with a clove of garlic, and a liberal sprinkling of ground black pepper, and sea salt. I like to add just a dash of sansho Szechuan pepper too. Et voila!

Store in a cold place and it should be ready for use after about a week. A little goes quite a long way. Nice with eggs, poultry, fish, and in onion raita and other Indian dishes. Mix it with coconut for a very South Indian taste. In the hot summer months consider upping the ratio of lighter oil, and including mint. It serves as the basis of a great vinaigrette.


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