Vietnamese mint, also known as Vietnamese coriander is a perennial herb used in South East Asian cooking that is well worth having in the edible garden.
Vietnamese mint (Persicaria odorata), or Vietnamese coriander is a perennial herb well worth having in an edible garden. It has elongated aromatic leaves which grow on red stems and have distinctive dark markings. Although not part of the mint family, it shares similar growth habits.
How to Grow Vietnamese Mint
The aromatic herb grows from 15 to 30cm tall and has a habit of taking over nearby plants so it is best contained in pots to prevent it from spreading. Choose a large container as it is fast to grow and gets root-bound fairly quickly much like pineapple sage and regular mint.
I’m growing mine from a little plant I bought during autumn and it has thrived throughout Sydney’s colder months. During summer, it prefers a shady spot or a position that doesn’t get the hot afternoon sun otherwise it will wilt and the bottom leaves begin to dry and crisp.
Vietnamese mint can be very easily propagated from cuttings. It roots well in water or plant it directly in moist but well draining soil.
Vietnamese Mint Plant Care
The herb benefits from regular pruning to encourage a more compact appearance. It needs little care aside form keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged and benefits from regular applications of liquid fertiliser ever 2-3 weeks. When repotting into a larger container, you can add compost and a slow release fertiliser to rejuvenate and feed the soil.
Vietnamese mint has a unique flavour that is best described as peppery and minty with a citrus note and pleasant heat on the finish. It shares some elements of flavour with coriander and can be used in a similar manner.
It is used in Vietnamese and South East Asian cooking and commonly in rice paper rolls. It brightens up any salad, complements dishes with seafood, rice, meat, chicken, coconut milk and curry.
You can harvest the leaves and use in cooking, or if you cut a sprig, you can remove the leaves to eat and propagate the stem for an endless supply.
Vietnamese mint can be used in cocktails to add a South East Asian flavour. It can be used in place of regular mint in classic cocktails such as the Mint Julep, Mojito and Southside.