Cilantro roots have a pure white central tap root that is covered in small hair-like rootlets which are typically are darker shade of tan. They have an aromatic, somewhat peppery flavor that is more pungent than the commonly used leaves. They possess a deep, earthy flavor akin to celergy root with hints of lemon and spice. The roots of younger plants are thin and tender, but larger roots become tough and bitter. Their woody texture and sharp flavor softens with cooking and even develops a mild sweetness.
Cilantro root is has natural antibiotic qualities.
Young Cilantro roots may be stir fried and eaten with minimal cooking. The larger Cilantro roots must be cooked because of their coarse and chewy texture. They are best in applications involving a long gradual cooking process, such as the broths and stocks used in Thai cooking. They can stand up to long simmering times and high temperatures in ways that the delicate leaves cannot. The root’s strong taste is tempered when slowly rendered with garlic, salt and Thai peppercorns. Cilantro roots pair well with ingredients such as carrots, scallion, tomato paste, coconut milk, citrus, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, chile peppers, chicken, lamb and goat.