We don’t call chef, Coriander Bob, without reason. His use of this aromatic seed in freshly ground form is epic! He stumbled upon coriander back in the early 80’s when he was one of the corporate chefs for Marriott Hotels in Washington DC. He worked closely with the Asian chefs that Marriott employed for their KONA KAI restaurants. He was training the chefs in Marriott standards while they enlightened him with their authentic cooking. Thus he was introduced to the use of coriander. Nowadays, Bob will use coriander whenever he uses salt, believing he can enhance the power of salt without using more salt.
Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. It is used in many cuisines around the world much more than in the USA. People may not like cilantro but love the flavor of coriander. The seed doesn’t resemble the green leaf in flavor unless it is a green seed. Therefore when cultivating coriander seeds, let them dry on the plant before harvesting. A brownish outside is the right color for the seeds.
We prefer to grind seed so we capture more volatile oils. It can also be purchased ground.
Chef Bob uses a ratio of 3-4 parts coriander to 1 part salt, creating a boost in the food without even tasting it. Most salt alternatives on the market contain coriander because of the citrus nature of its flavor. Lemon in a dish helps to diminish the need for salt, too, but often is discernible in the dish. So coriander can do the same without changing the flavor profile of the dish.