Herb available from Web site

BURNING QUESTIONS

October 17, 2007|By Kathleen Purvis | Kathleen Purvis,McClatchy-Tribune

Where can I find an herb plant known as Vietnamese coriander or daun laksa, "laksa leaf"? I found the fresh herb in an Asian market, but I'd prefer to have my own plant.

Finding this herb really can be tricky because it goes by so many names: Vietnamese coriander, Vietnamese mint, daun laksa, daun kesam and rau ram, among others.

All those common names boil down to one botanical name, polygonum odoratum, a member of the buckwheat family.

Its flavor is distinctive, and the herb is used in cooking in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It is commonly used to flavor the Vietnamese soup pho, among other dishes.

You can order the plants online. I found them at richters.com. Or, if you find the fresh herb in a market, you can try rooting it by wrapping the end of the stalk in a damp paper towel. It's a perennial, and it will grow indoors in a pot.

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