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Is Cilantro Spicy? What Does Cilantro Taste Like?

Cilantro is a versatile herb that is used around the globe for cooking. Most people like the flavor of cilantro because it’s refreshing and zesty. While many people dislike its taste, describing it as soapy. However, is cilantro spicy?

Cilantro is commonly known as coriander in many countries. But, in the United States, coriander refers to the seeds of cilantro. It’s not only the chef’s favorite; mom loves cilantro as well.

Let me give you a brief overview of cilantro.

Table of Content

Is Cilantro a Spice or Herb? What Is It?

The leaves and stems of the coriander plant are known as cilantro in Spanish. In medical terms, it refers to Coriandrum sativum. Its leaves are thin, green, and frayed at the ends. They resemble veined clovers.

Cilantro leaf shape __ Is Cilantro Spicy?

Cilantro has taken center stage in modern cooking, but the plant that gives it its flavor was already being cultivated in Israel before pottery existed. Cilantro has long been used in Southern Europe, Indian, and Asian cuisines, mainly savory.

However, Mexican and Southwest Americans are the top users of cilantro. It is used for salads, salsa burritos, meat, and curry dishes. Brazilian steakhouses even serve it as a dipping sauce for steak. And nobody cares to ask there is cilantro sauce spicy.

What Does Cilantro Taste Like?

Is cilantro spicy or tangy? Others may found it a bit bitter.

Cilantro has long been used in cooking and baking. The flavors and aromas it imparts to dishes are distinctive. Fresh cilantro has a mild lemony flavor with herbal undertones. Moreover, it has a combination of spicy, warm, and tangy flavors. It sometimes imparts the taste of parsley to the tongue.

However, what about the aroma of cilantro? It possesses a mild herbal scent and is quite intense. Lemon and lime notes combine to create a fresh scent. Furthermore, it gives a warm, spicy taste and aroma to curry and rice.

Cilantro topping on chickpea curry with basmati rice

Almost everyone finds its lively taste pleasing to their tongues. Yet some people think it’s YUCKY!! They tend to say it is spicy and soapy. Cilantro’s soapy flavor is a topic of great debate among people.

I want to clarify: Is cilantro spicy? Why does cilantro taste soapy?

Is Cilantro Spicy?

Herbaceous, spicy, robust, and savory cilantro can prove quite polarizing for some people. Indeed, its peppery flavor is due to its tartness and pungent taste quality. But it isn’t overly hot. Instead, the taste is dainty spicy.

The flavor of cilantro is often paired with cumin, cinnamon, and coriander powder in cooking items, as all these spices share a similar taste and aroma. Indeed, all these ingredients impart a warm and robust flavor to cooking items.

While cilantro is refreshing, many people dislike its flavor and can taste it in foods even in minimal amounts.

Why Is Cilantro Spicy to Me?

In terms of taste, cilantro has no doubt been a boon to people. However, too much cilantro can make the dish tangy. It is, therefore, best to add dried or fresh cilantro leaves according to your palate.

Aside from the cilantro used in cooking, other flavoring agents can also contribute to the hot meal. For instance, dried red, black pepper, and cumin can add spiciness to food. Not only cilantro, but these condiments make your tongue harsh for meals.

Also, if you use cilantro daily, it may make you disguise it from its taste. Apart from these, your genes and taste choices make you like or dislike cilantro.

Is Cilantro Spicy?

Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap?

Most people describe cilantro as tasting like soap. The fact is that it is not valid. Indeed, cilantro has a piquant taste. Then why does cilantro taste like soap to some people?

It is a genetic issue in cilantro-haters. Gene coding is what ruins the fresh taste of cilantro. In particular, it is OR26A polymorphism (disorganized single nucleotides from DNA structure). Having this disorder can result in taste disturbances.

Indeed, cilantro’s soapy taste is due to hypersensitivity to the chemical compound aldehyde. A significant amount of aldehyde is present in cilantro. Aldehyde-sensitive individuals have mutated genes that enable them to detect the soapy aroma of cilantro by sensing the olfactory receptor.

Health Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro, aka Chinese parsley, is beneficial to health because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it is a good source of nutrients as well as essential oils. It helps to fight against free radicals and provides all the vital minerals and vitamins to the body.

All these factors make it beneficial for human health. But Is cilantro Spicy? Well, I am sure you already get an idea by this time. So, let’s look at a few significant health benefits of cilantro:

Good Source of Nutrients

Cilantro has a high level of vitamin A, K, and C. Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants that fight against toxins, free radicals, and cancerous cells. Also, it is a good source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Cilantro plant - Is cilantro spicy?

Apart from these, it has a significant amount of dietary fiber, iron, manganese, and sodium.

Nutritional Profile of Cilantro

Following are the nutrition facts of cilantro leaves.

Nutritional Value of Cilantro (100 g)
Energy23 kcal
Protein2.13 g
Total lipid (fat)0.52 g
Folate (total)62 µ g
Potassium521 mg
Magnesium26 mg
Calcium67 mg
Calories0 g
Total Fat0.52 g
Cholesterol0 g
Total Dietary Fiber2.8 g
Source: US Department of Agriculture

Regulate Blood Pressure

The calcium in cilantro lowers blood pressure by interacting with neurotransmitters within the body. Indeed, it reduces blood pressure by relaxing blood vessel tension.

Thus, it prevents heart attacks, hemorrhages, strokes, and seizures.

Treat Stomach Disorders

Antibacterial components, dietary fiber, and antioxidants in cilantro contribute to the health of the stomach. It relieves the symptoms of diarrhea, gastritis, and constipation. Moreover, it improves peristaltic motion, which in turn improves bowel movement and digestion.

Apart from these, it lowers the anorexia condition and helps to regulate appetite.

Prevent Foodborne Illness

Cilantro contains powerful antibiotics, such as duodenal. These compounds help to kill Salmonella that is responsible for food poisoning.

Pathogenic Salmonella bacteria

Indeed, cilantro is a natural, effective way to eliminate foodborne pathogens.

Helpful For Diabetes

Cilantro can lower blood sugar levels and improve diabetes symptoms by stimulating the endocrine gland, which increases insulin production. The subsequent assimilation of glucose into the body lowers blood sugar levels. No matter is cilantro spicy or not; it will tone down your blood sugar level for sure.

Cilantro Is Also Useful For

Furthermore, cilantro has a variety of medical benefits besides the ones mentioned above. These are just a few.

  • It helps to improve the brain’s health
  • Manage high blood sugar level
  • It helps to lower blood cholesterol levels
  • Prevents the body from infections
  • Remove toxic and heavy metals from the body
  • Promote heart health
  • Prevent and Cure UTIs (urinary tract infections)
  • It helps to improve gastritis
  • Regulate menstrual cycle
  • Relieve neurological inflammation
  • Fight cancer-causing cells
  • Lowers Anxiety And Improves Sleep
  • Promote bone health
  • Helps to relieve toothache
  • Help to detoxify the body
  • It is a natural painkiller
  • Help with weight loss
  • Improve stomach health
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral

How To Use Cilantro?

Cilantro is a vestige herb that is easy to use and can be found in your spice garden. Those who aren’t very familiar with cilantro may assume they can only use it for guacamole or salsa recipes. But in reality, cilantro is an efficient herb that has a multitude of other uses.

However, can you eat cilantro stems? Or can you cook cilantro in soup? I’ve listed a few common uses for cilantro that will answer all the queries. Moreover, the ideas will add extra flavor to your meals and snacks.

  • You can top chili, soups, and stews with chopped cilantro and sour cream. Also, you can do the same with low-fat plain yogurt for a healthier alternative.
  • To add some extra flavor to your rice dishes, chop cilantro and toss it in!
  • Dress your salads with chopped cilantro for an added kick. It goes well with vinaigrette and citrus dressings.
  • Freshly chopped cilantro combined with fresh vegetables, olive oil, salt, and pepper makes this coleslaw extremely flavorful. For a quick and low-cost side dish, try this recipe!
Cilantro coleslaw
  • Give your next stir-fry a bit of extra flavor by adding cilantro chopped up.
  • Topping a bagel with cilantro and cream cheese is delicious. Make it for your next brunch to get rave reviews.
  • You’ll love the flavor of cilantro leaves in pasta, rice, or fresh green salads.
  • Infuse oil with cilantro flavor by putting cilantro stems in oil bottles. You can drizzle the oil over pasta, meat, and salads for extra flavor.
  • Cilantro sauce is good on tacos, nachos, spaghetti, and fries. It is ideal for marinating and baking meat dishes.

Lieu Of The Cilantro For People Who Hate It

Cilantro is a delicious and healthy addition to any dish. However, if you don’t want to use it for personal reasons or don’t have any on hand, you can use the following herbs or spices as a cilantro spice substitute. They share almost the same qualities concerning taste, aroma, and health value. And of course, some of you stop you from asking is cilantro spicy.

  • Mint
  • Cumin
  • Papalo
  • Rau ram
  • Curry Powder
  • Oregano 
  • Caraway 
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Dill
Alternative herbs of cilantro

They are readily available in home kitchens and can serve as an excellent alternative to cilantro leaves.

Are Coriander And Cilantro The Same Thing?

Both cilantro and coriander are commonly used as synonyms in most countries. However, they both originate from the same plant. But they do not refer to the same thing as far as taste or nutrition go.

Indeed, cilantro is the green leaves and stems of the coriander plants that give a tangy citrus taste. With an earthy and herbal aroma, it adds flavorsome to the meal. It is herbs and used widely as toppings and dressings.

On the other hand, coriander is the seed of cilantro flowers. They are round, rigid small balls varying from whitish to yellow-brown colors. It tastes spicy, warm, and nutty with hints of citrus. Also, it has a more potent aroma than cilantro when crushed into powder.

Apart from their taste and aroma, both are edible and widely used in cooking.


Is Cilantro Sauce Spicy?

Cilantro sauce ingredients include cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. These ingredients impart a sweet, tangy flavor to the sauce. Further, it has hints of spice and citrus flavor.

However, it is not too hot on the tongue. Tacos and baked goods go well with their mild peppery flavor.

Is Cilantro A Spice Or Herb?

Cilantro is a dark green herb with a citrus taste and aroma. The flavor of the cilantro attracts many people, but a few can’t stand its taste. It is closely related to the parsley family.

Does Cilantro Make Things Spicy?

Cilantro has an excellent tangy flavor that gives food a refreshing and pleasantly peppery taste to which it adds. But, it does not make them taste worse.

Why Is Cilantro Called Coriander?

Typically, the cilantro plant is referred to as coriander. That’s why people used to call it coriander instead of cilantro. While cilantro is the leaves and stems of coriander plants and coriander is the seeds. People also call it Chinese parsley.

Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Metal?

Cilantro is rich in the 9 carbon compound- aldehyde. People with aldehyde sensitivity may perceive this aldehyde has a metallic or soapy taste. Indeed, it is a genetic issue, and mutants have defective olfactory receptor genes.

What Ethnicity Doesn’t Like cilantro?

Approximately 21% of people in this world hate or avoid cilantro. The majority of them belong to Korea, Thailand, China, and Japan.

Is Cilantro Leaves Spicy?

Cilantro leaves have a strong taste. It gives a warm spicy flavor to the tongue with a nutty and herbal smell. Moreover, it carries a hint of citrus, especially a lemony taste.

Can I Use Dried Coriander Instead Of Fresh Cilantro?

Dried coriander can’t be a good substitute for fresh cilantro since it loses most of its nutrients and oils during the drying process. Instead of dried coriander, it is better to prepare a dish without cilantro, as dried ones can spoil the taste and nutritional value of the meal.


Towards the end of my article, I concluded by advising you to plant cilantro in your herb garden. As you read above, the herb is full of health and cooking benefits. Instead of asking, “Is cilantro spicy?”

It is good to grow and taste it yourself. It is a valuable herb and has an incredible flavor, aroma, and nutritional profile. Indeed, you’ll love it once you begin taking it with meals. A big bunch of cilantro goes a long way!

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