Coriander Trend in Japan

Photo: すしぱく on Pakutaso

Coriander Trend in Japan – How Japanese and Thai Food Cultures Meet

Various international foods are becoming popular in Japan as well as Thai food. Coriander is one of herbs commonly used in many Thai dishes. In Japan, it is commonly known as “Pakuchi (パクチー)”. I am a Thai girl who resides in Japan and loves to eat dishes with coriander. In recent years, I noticed that many Japanese people really enjoy having dishes with coriander too, especially those who seem to love it a lot.

Photo by Ippei Suzuki on Flickr.

In general, Thai people use a small amount of coriander leaves just for food decoration. However, Japanese people make me really surprised on their creativity to make a variety of dishes from a combination of Thai corianders and Japanese dishes! Here I will introduce five simple-to-fantastic coriander dishes that you could hardly find them anywhere in the world except Japan!

1. Coriander Salad & Paste

Photo by kanonn on Flickr.
Photo by Tatsuo Yamashita on Flickr.

This is an ordinary coriander dish that you can find in many restaurants in Japan. It’s a salad extreme corianders with some other veggies as a decoration. This would be a favorite dish for people who really love a strong smell and taste of fresh corianders! Also, Japanese companies provide an alternative, coriander paste, for those who need an instant type of coriander that are ready to be mixed with any kinds of veggies of their choices.

2. Coriander Pasta

Photo by o-hira's fotolife on Hatenda Fotolife.

Many of you might already be familiar with Japanese-style pasta that are originally created by Japanese people like tarako (salted tuna roe) pasta. Though I’m sure that this dish must be a new dimension of pasta that you’ve never seen. It’s a Japanese/Thai perfect combination of any kinds of pasta (usually spaghetti) and a mountain of corianders as a main topping. Now it’s available in packs at supermarkets for you to cook at home too.

3. Coriander Tempura

Photo by じゅう on Photozou.

Tempura is one of the most popular Japanese foods. It’s a vegetable dipped in a batter, then deep fried in boiling oil. Many vegetables are selected to cook tempura like onions, bell peppers, potatoes, mushrooms, and of course, coriander! The coriander tempura in the photo is fried in a round shape similar to kakiage or mixed-vegetables tempura. This nicely represents a mixed food culture between Thailand and Japan: Thai coriander in a unique style of Japanese cooking.

4. Coriander Drink

Photo by Tomoko Tsutsui on Flickr.

Absolutely you will need some drinks after a main dish. Here I proudly present you a very unique alcohol drinks created in Japanese style! In general, these two drinks alone are well-known as highball and mojito. However, Japanese restaurants make them even more special by topping the drinks with extreme coriander leaves. Could you imagine how they taste?

5. Coriander Japanese Snacks

Photo by Tatsuo Yamashita on Flickr.

Everyone loves snacks, the Japanese have quite a variety of great ones. The last menu item I’d like to recommend to coriander lovers is some coriander flavored snacks! You can find such snacks as Pretz (above), chocolate, potato chips, or even ice cream all containing coriander. Sounds fun and delicious!

As you have read all five coriander dishes, you may want to try or become a fan of coriander. Here is a way that you can join a coriander community in Japan: Japanese Coriander Association. If you are interested in cooking or tasting a variety of Japanese/Thai dishes, please visit their site.

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