Botanical Name: Persicaria odorata
Some other names: Vietnamese coriander, Laksa leaves, Hot mint, Vietnamese cilantro, Rau ram
How to grow it:
Vietnamese mint is of those “hard to kill” plants – it will grow anywhere, and if it likes it’s spot will become invasive. It is easy to remove though and quite a pretty plant.
In warmer areas it will grow all year round and in colder areas it will rebound quickly after frost. I find the summer heat will cause it to lose some vigour, so suggest planting in a shady position that gets a bit of morning sun.
Vietnamese mint will grow in shallow water or bog situations, and in fact it’s more likely to get invasive with unlimited access to water. You could try it in a closed container to prevent it spreading.
I find it grows well without addition of fertilizer – perhaps an occasional foliar spray is all that’s needed.
Propogation is very simple – just root some cuttings in water. Once they’ve rooted, plant them in the garden & keep watered for a few days. You could skip all this by just putting cuttings in the ground as rain is expected – they so easily strike.
Great plant for the greenhouse – it will love the water & heat. Will also grow great in pots – just keep it well watered.
Leaves high in protein & potassium and other vitamin & minerals. Many herbal actions.
Using it in the kitchen:
How you use Vietnamese mint depends on how much you like the flavour. If you don’t like coriander – then forget it – you won’t like vietnamese mint. It has a strong flavour similar to coriander – but hot. The leaves can be eaten in combination with other greens in a salad or on a sandwich.
If on the other hand you do like coriander, you’ll most likely enjoy these leaves added to oriental dishes at the end of cooking. They can be a real bonus for your cooking as they’ll grow in the heat whereas coriander usually won’t – all year coriander if you like!
As one of it’s common names suggest, these leaves are great in a laksa or hot soup – added at the end like a garnish.
A good survival food as the the plant is so hardy and the leaves so useful in asian cooking.