Herbs Used In Kitchen – Bibek Shrestha

Herbs are that wonderful thing that can transform a dish from dull to extraordinary with just a few leaves. Herbs are the best flavoring agents that are used in different dishes. A little amount of herbs can change the taste of food and make your taste buds feels great. Herbs can be used as fresh and dried also. Herbs can be used as a garnish for many dishes.

Here are the some of the list of herbs that are used in the kitchen.

1. Mint

Mint is one of the most famous herbs used in cooking. It’s fresh, it can have some kick, sometimes it’s even a bit peppery or lemony but it leaves a cool after-taste. There are many subspecies of mint, but the most common version has tough stems and bright green, oval and pointy, slightly dented leaves. It can be a very powerful herb and must be used with caution. What pairs with mint? Lamb, couscous, tabbouleh, zucchini, feta cheese, garden peas, yoghurt.

2. Coriander

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a very fragrant herb. So that some people even have issues with it, considering it a bit soapy and off-putting. I personally love its citrussy accents which remind me of lemongrass. Coriander leaves look like dented clover leaves. They are fragile and they perish rapidly. Coriander stems are edible and more suitable than their leaves for slow cooking purposes. Use it with confidence on: chicken, curries, avocados, corn, onions, or even chilis.

3. Basil

Basil is perhaps the most easily recognized herb in cooking. It’s delicate and fragrant. It has beautiful and smooth pointy leaves, with a shape that recalls a water drop. Although it’s definitely an iconic flavor of Italy, which has a more “anise” flavor to it. Basil goes perfectly with: chicken, tomatoes, strawberries, shrimps, mozzarella, pasta, and even beef.

4. Parsley

Parsley might very well be the most widely common herb for cooking. It’s not surprising to consider how easy it is to use it. It’s quite mild, it doesn’t overpower easily a dish, not as much as mint for example. To identify parsley on a market, look either for curly parsley which has a distinctive frilly appearance, or for flat-leaf parsley which looks like coriander but with longer, thicker and pointier leaves. It’s really versatile and it’s featured in many dishes all around the globe. Pair it with : garlic, (think of garlic bread) lemon, mussels and fish, blue cheese, lentil, or even ham.

5. Chive

Chive is an herb with some proper attitude. As soon as you bite into it delivers a very distinctive garlicky flavor. It’s very easy to identify with its smooth, long, straight, and tubular pointy stems. Being the smallest species of the onion genus, its flavor is hot and garlicky but at the same time is very fresh and not as overpowering as raw garlic or onion. Its flowers are perfectly edible. Chive goes very well with: eggs, fresh cheese, butter, salmon, blinis, cream, and potatoes.

6. Dill

Dill has an incredibly delicate flavor and a fresh and clean aroma. Its leaves are very light and soft and it’s a very popular herb. Dill is a perfect match with cured fish like salmon, green soups, cucumbers, cream, beetroot, and of course pickles.

7. Thyme

Thyme should belong in every kitchen. It’s incredible how its tiny leaves smell so good: lemony, earthy, and pungent at the same time. Thyme leaves are distributed into sprigs, which are long woody stems. It’s best to remove the leaves from the stem when cooking. It goes particularly well with eggplants, grill bbq meats, chicken, mushrooms, and roasted vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini.

8. Oregano

Like Bay leaves, oregano is more flavourful when used in its dry form, otherwise it’s pungent and also a slightly bitter. Its leaves look like mini mint ones but the sprigs are not dissimilar to thyme.  It works great with lamb, tomatoes, olive oil, kebabs, and pizza.

9. Sage

Sage is often an underestimated herb in the kitchen. It might be very pungent, minty, and musky. To spot it look for softly hairy and pale green leaves. It’s wonderful when fried with a light batter and goes heavenly with bacon, sausages and pork in general, rabbit, butter, gnocchi, and fresh stuffed pasta.

10. Bay Leaf

Bay is technically a tree but its leaves are treated along the same lines as the other culinary herbs. Its leaves release the best flavor when dried. Bay leaves are a great start for any stock or broth or any slow-cooked dish but you should always remember to remove them before serving the dish or the soup since they don’t get any softer during cooking time and might result a bit stodgy. Its flavor are much more good in lamb, beef, curries, soups.

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