Cilantro roots: Can you dig it?

We take a trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market to get schooled on cooking with cilantro roots from Simbal Chef Shawn Pham and boiling peanuts from farmer Kong Thao.

Many of you growing cilantro in backyard gardens or in windowsill flower pots may not think of using the roots in your cooking. But cilantro roots are essential to Thai cuisine. Recipes for traditional curries rely on the herbaceousness of the root to mellow out the funky, pungent flavors of ingredients like fish sauce and shrimp paste. At his restaurant, Simbal, in Little Tokyo, chef Shawn Pham uses cilantro root in the marinade for his Heavenly Beef, a dish that in its original incarnation involved leaving meat on a hot rooftop for two days to rot. Find the recipe for Pham’s version, which uses dry-aged beef fat instead of rotting meat here.