What to do with recaito (cilantro/culantro/recao paste)
September 14, 2009 1:03 PM   Subscribe

What can I cook with this Puerto Rican (?) recaito, aka "cilantro cooking base"?

It's a paste made of cilantro,* onion, garlic, green pepper, and salt. (unfortunately it's kind of salty, and may also have MSG). I have a whole jar of it.

*I can't tell if it's made from cilantro, or from something similar to cilantro called culantro, or both. One of these is also called "recao" and gives recaito its name, but I don't know which. I hope someone can enlighten me on this!
posted by k. to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Coincidentally, I was just looking up this recipe for my weekly menu planning.

Nuyorican Beans and Rice

I'm too lazy to seek out the recaito and just fudge it with the raw ingredients.
posted by padraigin at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2009

Culantro isn't all that similar to cilantro. Recao is culantro, not cilantro. This confusion is advanced by Recaito Goya, which has both culantro and cilantro in it, but it's unusual for recaito (either recipes or premade) to have both.

So you have Recaito Goya, which has both. It's also kind of weak-ass. The best thing to do with it is use it as a marinade and sauce for white fish, chicken, and tofu.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2009

I'm sorry to hear that Recaito Goya is weak ass. It sounds like it would be a good addition to black bean soup. I'd also try stirring it into a vinaigrette (and skipping any salt) for a green salad or vinegary cole slaw.

I sure would like a mail-order source for straight culantro/recao, if anyone has one to suggest.
posted by redfoxtail at 1:21 PM on September 14, 2009

The Goya Sofrito and Recaito are not that great. Although since my grandmother makes hers from scratch I may be spoiled. I would add this to beans, yellow or brown rice, and definitely as a marinade as Sidhedevil suggests. If you want to make a cubed steak with tons of onions I think it would work there.

I bought this recaito once and used it along with all the other spices I would normally use.
posted by mokeydraws at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2009

Arroz con gandules [rice and pigeon peas]. Goya's own recipe
posted by kmennie at 2:32 PM on September 14, 2009

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