Rau Ram

By Chai, Julie; Machnak, Amy | Sunset, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Rau Ram


Chai, Julie, Machnak, Amy, Sunset


Liven up your summer with this hard-to-find (but easy-to-grow) Asian herb

In your garden

Also known as Vietnamese cilantro, rau ram makes an unusual, and pretty, addition to your herb garden. (Its bright green leaves have maroon "inkblots") The plant is a perennial in warm, frost-free regions; buy organic seedlings from Mountain Valley Growers (mountainvalleygrowers.com).

Plant

GROW seedlings in full or filtered sun (and afternoon shade where possible) in a large pot or in the ground. Rau ram grows fast - one plant may be all you need.

Care

Rau ram is thirsty, so KEEP the soil moist. If the plant stops producing new leaves in midseason, CUT it back almost to the base to promote new growth. If it's growing in a container, you might need to REPOT it into a bigger one - or divide it and replant in the same pot - a couple of times a season.

In your kitchen

Similar in flavor to cilantro that has bolted, rau ram has a slightly peppery, aromatic, almost soapy taste. It's best when served with other strongly flavored foods, especially Southeast Asian ones.

Harvest

PULL young leaves from stems, rinse, and dry in a salad spinner. STORE clean leaves, layered between slightly damp paper towels, in an unsealed plastic bag. SOAK any wilted leaves in ice water briefly to refresh them.

Red curry fish stew with rau ram

SERVES 4 | 30 MINUTES

1 can (13.5 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14. …

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