The 5 Best Substitutes for Epazote

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Epazote is a herb that is commonly used in Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine.

It has a strong, pungent flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of gasoline or kerosene.

While it may not be everyones cup of tea, epazote is an essential ingredient in many traditional dishes.

If youre interested in exploring the world of Mexican cuisine, youll need to learn how to cook with epazote.

In this article, well give you a crash course in epazote 101.

Well teach you what it is, where to find it, and how to use it in your cooking.

Well also share some of our favorite epazote-based recipes. Lets get started.

What is Epazote?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Epazote

Epazote is an herb that is native to Mexico and Central America.

It has a long history of use in traditional Mexican cuisine, and it is also known for its medicinal properties.

Epazote has a distinctive appearance, with long, slender leaves that are green or sometimes reddish in color.

It has a strong, pungent flavor that some people compare to gasoline or diesel fuel.

When used in small amounts, epazote can add a unique flavor to dishes such as quesadillas, tamales, and beans.

It is also said to aid in digestion and relieve gas.

Recipes that call for epazote can often be easily adapted to substitutions such as cilantro or oregano.

However, for those who enjoy the distinct taste of epazote, it is worth seeking out this unique herb.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Epazote

The 5 Best Substitutes for Epazote

If you dont have epazote on hand or cant find it at your local grocery store, there are a few substitutes that will work in a pinch.

Here are the five best substitutes for epazote.

1 – Cilantro

Cilantro is an herb with a bright, fresh flavor that is often used in Mexican and Southeast Asian cuisine.

The leaves are delicate and lacy, and they have a slightly citrusy aroma.

Cilantro can be used raw or cooked, and it is particularly popular in salsa and guacamole.

The taste of cilantro can be described as a cross between lemon and parsley, with a touch of heat.

The texture of the leaves is slightly chewy, and the stems are crunchy.

When substituting cilantro for another herb, it is important to keep in mind that its flavor is quite strong.

A little goes a long way, so you may want to start with half the amount of cilantro called for in the recipe.

2 – Papalo

Papalo is a type of cilantro that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine.

It has a strong, pungent flavor that is reminiscent of mint and lime.

The leaves are large and fleshy, with a slightly furry texture.

Papalo can be eaten fresh or cooked and is often used as a flavoring agent in soups and stews.

Because of its strong flavor, papalo is typically used sparingly.

However, it can be a good substitute for epazote, which can be difficult to find outside of Mexico.

When substituting papalo for epazote, use half as much papalo as you would epazote.

This will help to prevent your dish from becoming too overwhelming.

3 – Coriander

Of all the herbs in my spice cabinet, coriander is one of my favorites.

It has a unique flavor that is both earthy and citrusy, and it can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

The leaves have a delicate, lacy appearance, and the seeds are small and brown.

When ground, the seeds have a strong aroma that is distinctly different from the leaves.

Coriander is a versatile herb that can be used in many different cuisines.

It is common in Indian and Thai food, but it can also be used in Mexican dishes such as salsa and guacamole.

If youre looking for a substitution for epazote, coriander is a good option.

It has a similar flavor profile, but it is not as pungent.

Coriander is an essential ingredient in many dishes, and its worth taking the time to learn how to use it properly.

4 – Summer Savory

Summer savory is a herb that has a slightly peppery taste with hints of mint and thyme.

It is often used to season meats and vegetables. The leaves can be used fresh or dried.

When used fresh, they have a more mild flavor.

Some spice combinations include summer savory as well.

The plant itself is a member of the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean region.

Summer savory is sometimes used as a substitute for epazote.

Both herbs have a similar flavor profile, but summer savory is more readily available.

When substituting summer savory for epazote, use half as much of the herb since it is more potent.

5 – Culantro

Culantro is a herb that is commonly used in Latin American cuisine.

It has a strong, pungent flavor and a rough, prickly texture.

Culantro can be used in soups, stews, and sauces, and it is often used as a substitute for epazote.

When substituting culantro for epazote, it is important to use less culantro than epazote because the flavor is more concentrated.

Culantro can also be used fresh or dried.

If using fresh culantro, it is important to wash it thoroughly because the leaves can be very gritty.

Culantro can be found in Latin American markets or online.


In conclusion, there are a variety of herbs that can be used as a substitute for epazote.

Each herb has its own unique flavor profile, so it is important to choose one that will complement the dish you are making.

When substituting an herb for epazote, it is important to use less of the herb since the flavor is more concentrated.

I hope this article was helpful in finding a suitable substitution for epazote.


What is epazote called in English?

In English it is sometimes called goosefoot, skunk weed, wormseed, or Mexican tea; the last two of these terms allude to its medicinal use to combat intestinal parasites.

Is epazote the same as oregano?

Epazote is commonly confused with Mexican oregano, but is quite different, with an almost perfumed, grassy aroma. Dried epazote is referred to the bean herb, most often cooked alongside dried black beans or pinto beans to aid digestion – preventing any unpleasant pulse side effects!

What is the flavor of epazote?

There’s nothing tender or tentative about the taste of epazote either. Raw, it has a resinous pungency. Chefs describe it as having a strong, acidic, lemony flavour. Others write about it being a combination of oregano, tarragon, citrus, mint, pine, mustard greens, and even tar or creosote.

What is another name for epazote?

Epazote, Wormseed, Jesuit’s Tea, Mexican Tea, or Herba Sancti Mariae (Chenopodium ambrosioides) is a herb native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico. Its name derives from the Nahuatl word for “skunk herb” (epatli = skunk + zotli = herb).

What is the Mexican herb for flatulence?

Epazote (pronounced eh-puh-ZOE-tay) is an herb native to Mexico and Central America that is perhaps best known for its carminative, or gas-relieving, properties. Cooked with a pot of beans, this herb can lessen the “negative effects” and adds a distinctive savory, earthy flavor.

What herb prevents gas from beans?

Epazote is an herb native to South America and Mexico. It’s traditionally used to flavor black beans, and some folks claim it reduces gas-producing properties.

What is the Mexican ingredient epazote?

In fact, the word epazote originates from the Nahuatl words epatli and zotli, which together form the phrase “skunk herb.” In Mexico and Guatemala, two countries where epazote is frequently consumed, the plant is sometimes called hierba hedionda (aka “stinky weed”), while it’s also referred to as goosefoot and skunk …

What do Mexicans call oregano?

But then along comes yet another wonderful oregano wannabe: Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens)—also called orégano in Spanish—a member of the Verbenaceae, or verbena family.

What is the Mexican version of oregano?

Mexican oregano, sometimes called, Mexican Marjoram, or Rosemary mint, is the dried leaves of Lippia graveolens, a plant native to Mexico. This tasty herb is a staple of Latin American cooking and differs from Mediterranean oregano in its pungent citrus notes.

Can epazote cause diarrhea?

Epazote is those to reduce ‘gas’ (which is why it’s good with beans!) and bloating although you should not overdose on it as it can cause vomitting and diarrhea if used excessively so use it sparingly to get the benefits only.

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