Friday, March 23, 2012
Alien Ingredient #23: Rau Răm
After years of reading in my Vietnamese cookbooks about this magical herb called rau răm (Persicaria odorata), I finally stumbled across some at the market. Excitedly, I brought some of this herb that is also called Vietnamese Coriander back to the restaurant. You can tell from the Latin odorata and the common name coriander that this should be a fragrant herb à la cilantro or Thai basil. And according to my texts, rau răm is used as a fresh herb, often as a garnish, just as are cilantro and basil.
I have rarely been more underwhelmed by an herb in my entire life. I crushed a leaf and it smelled of nothing but crushed green leaf. I tasted it and it was totally blah, just like chickweed. Nothing but a vegetal chlorophyll flavor.
I'll try again if I ever see it again, but this was a total waste of time and money.
Vote: What is the point?