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Old 12-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #21
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They probably put too much mint in it. I can see having a hint of mint maybe, but when the taste of mint completely takes the forefront, it ruins it for me. They should have called it Thai mint chicken, lol. What might have helped just a little is if I had stirred up the container to distribute the mint more. I shouldn't have to do that tho.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:06 PM   #22
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I have to say that they put something green in it that was really overpowering. Was it basil? It almost tasted like mint leaves. It really overpowered the taste. I ended up picking as much out of it as I could. It had a fairly long stem with some small green leafyness. I won't be buying that again. Otherwise it was pretty good.
I'm pretty sure it's cilantro.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #23
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I'm pretty sure it's cilantro.
Maybe you're right. I'm usually better at determining what some flavor is.
It was funny because while eating the meal I was asking myself what the hell is that flavor?

So ya, I could have mistaken cilantro for mint. I'm almost sure it wasn't basil.

Thanks.

Edit: I found an ingredient list for their Thai Cashew Chicken and they add cilantro. A bit too much for my taste.
I like cilantro in mexican food tho, lol. I think that was my problem figuring it out, I associate cilantro with mexican food.
Thanks again.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:25 PM   #24
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I'm pretty sure it's cilantro.
Haha, I fogot that cilantro is also something I would add to my Thai curries. I'd chop it and sprinkle on top immediately before serving. I would NEVER put cilantro in the dish at any stage of cooking before serving.

Another criticism of Asian fast food: Almost all of any Asian food I ever ate was freshly cooked and served immediately. How long does it take for cilantro to go bad and get all yucky under the heat lamps? Or on a steam table?

Sprinkling with cilantro is something you might do just like French chefs sometimes sprinkle parsley on the dish before serving, as kind of like a garnish.

I think there may be a genetic difference in taste receptors that causes some people to not like cilantro. I have never tasted the "soapy" thing, although I've seen it mentioned and discussed far too often to discount it. Obviously some people taste cilantro differently, taste it as soapy, and I'm glad I'm not one of them.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:03 AM   #25
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I hope I don't sound pompous, I did a 3 day course about 15 yrs ago in the Chiang Mai school, we were taught to use the root of the cilantro(coriander) to cook with, the leaf was used only as a garnish or in salads.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:09 AM   #26
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Haha, I fogot that cilantro is also something I would add to my Thai curries. I'd chop it and sprinkle on top immediately before serving. I would NEVER put cilantro in the dish at any stage of cooking before serving.

Another criticism of Asian fast food: Almost all of any Asian food I ever ate was freshly cooked and served immediately. How long does it take for cilantro to go bad and get all yucky under the heat lamps? Or on a steam table?

Sprinkling with cilantro is something you might do just like French chefs sometimes sprinkle parsley on the dish before serving, as kind of like a garnish.

I think there may be a genetic difference in taste receptors that causes some people to not like cilantro. I have never tasted the "soapy" thing, although I've seen it mentioned and discussed far too often to discount it. Obviously some people taste cilantro differently, taste it as soapy, and I'm glad I'm not one of them.
I'm with you, Greg. I've never tasted anything "soapy" in any of the Mexican foods I've eaten over the years. I'm not sure if I would know the taste of cilantro if I did eat it. I'll have to pick some up one day and try it all by itself.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
I hope I don't sound pompous, I did a 3 day course about 15 yrs ago in the Chiang Mai school, we were taught to use the root of the cilantro(coriander) to cook with, the leaf was used only as a garnish or in salads.
That sounds like it would have given the right overall hint of cilantro flavor to the dish. Mind you, the rest of the ingredients to PE's Thai chicken weren't at all cilantro tasting. It's just that when you went for a fork of veggies and maybe a small piece of chicken, the cilantro stems with some leaf were too up front...taste wise. The stir fried, heat exaggerated cilantro with leaf was a bit much, taste wise, in a fork full.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
I hope I don't sound pompous, I did a 3 day course about 15 yrs ago in the Chiang Mai school, we were taught to use the root of the cilantro(coriander) to cook with, the leaf was used only as a garnish or in salads.
Not pompous at all.

The only place I've ever seen cilantro/coriander with the root attached is when purchased at the farm market. The supermarket always has them trimmed and cleaned.

I am a certified cilantro-maniac but my wife is less enthusiastic about the herb. At home, when we have dishes that call for it, I put out a small bowl of chopped leaves (no stems) so we can each add it to our liking.

I see a lot of cilantro garnishes in upscale fast food restaurants lately. That is, I assume it's supposed to be a garnish, as it's usually a full sprig with stem and leaves. As a cilantro lover, I find that a little awkward. What I invariably end up doing is stripping off the leaves, adding those back to the food, and discarding the stem. The stem is an annoyance as far as I'm concerned, and doesn't belong in any dish. Nevertheless, I see it that way more often than not.

I also looked at some photos of the Panda Express Thai Chicken dish in question. From the photos, there are quite obviously large quantities of cooked cilantro in it - stem and all. I agree with Greg above that cilantro should not be cooked into the food, but used as more of an enhancement to be sprinkled on before serving. However, I could eat an entire cilantro salad myself.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #29
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Steve mate buy a bunch, chop a few roots off and pound in a mortar and pestle with a little plain oil and taste. will flow.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:36 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile View Post
I hope I don't sound pompous, I did a 3 day course about 15 yrs ago in the Chiang Mai school, we were taught to use the root of the cilantro(coriander) to cook with, the leaf was used only as a garnish or in salads.
My Thai cookbooks also use the cilantro (coriander) roots for cooking--like mixing in pastes--and use the leaves only for sprinkling over at the last stage.

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The only place I've ever seen cilantro/coriander with the root attached is when purchased at the farm market. The supermarket always has them trimmed and cleaned.
Alas, I haven't found cilantro with the roots on in my local supermarkets, not even my Asian markets.

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I also looked at some photos of the Panda Express Thai Chicken dish in question. From the photos, there are quite obviously large quantities of cooked cilantro in it - stem and all. I agree with Greg above that cilantro should not be cooked into the food, but used as more of an enhancement to be sprinkled on before serving. However, I could eat an entire cilantro salad myself.
Yeah, that's just wrong to cook a bunch of cilantro including stems into a dish and then let it sit under heat lamps or on a steam table for a long time. I'd call that cilantro abuse! That's why I don't like PE or any Asian place ("all you can eat buffet") that makes food in large batches and then keeps them on heat as customers are served. At Chinese and Thai restaurants (or at home) orders are cooked individually and served within a very few minutes of leaving the wok. Usually the cilantro leaves are added after the food is plated. I've never let cilantro sit over heat for long periods of time and evidently that's a bad idea.

PE is a fast food place, an Asian version of McDonald's or Jack in the Box. I wouldn't expect to find good chefs at PE anymore than I would at McD's or Jack's. They're moving mass quantities of food and don't have time for careful cooking. The chefs are probably equally trained compared to any other fast food places, in other words not expert chefs. I advise that if you eat at PE that you stick to dishes that are hard to screw up, like perhaps sweet 'n sour chicken.
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