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Cilantro-Garlic Sauce

by jenny sansouci on July 26, 2011

I can hardly contain my excitement over this sauce. Seriously, it doesn’t feel normal to get this excited about a sauce. But then again, I hardly ever feel normal, so let’s go…

I should probably begin by explaining the way I feel about cilantro. People usually either love it or hate it…and I love it. Actually, I am IN LOVE with it. My mouth waters just thinking about it! When I have my own garden one day, the first thing I want to plant is a huge cilantro bush. I LOVE YOU CILANTRO!!!!!!

Me and one of the loves of my life...cilantro.

Whew. I’m getting carried away.

Anyway, if you’re a cilantro-lover too, you’ll want to make this sauce over and over again, and put it on everything you eat!

The inspiration for this sauce came from a restaurant in NYC called Mooncake Foods. There’s this green sauce they have there that’s so delicious I can hardly stand it. Whenever I go there, everyone orders extra sides of this mysterious, totally addictive green sauce. It normally comes with their sliced steak dish, but I love putting it on their avocado/watercress salad. YUM. One night I finally asked the waitress what was in the sauce. “I think it’s cilantro…and garlic.” Hmm. Ok. Although I didn’t have every ingredient, I was ready to venture out on my own and re-create this masterpiece.

SUCCESS! This may not be the exact same sauce, but it tastes pretty-freaking-amazing.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 small/medium cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Pour over your favorite dish – brown rice, lentils, beans, veggies, tempeh, tofu, meat, eggs, whatever you want!! Either way, just make it soon so I have other people to share my enthusiasm with. 🙂

Cilantro-garlic sauce on brown rice & tempeh


Are you a cilantro-lover? What’s your favorite way to eat cilantro?



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Lorin W July 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm

LOOOVVEEE Cilantro and can’t wait to try this sauce. I love the smell, so fresh! Can’t remember if I’ve asked this before but with this heat I know cilantro would be perfect in a gazpacho, any recipes to share? And of course Cilantro is always on my list for Taco Tuesday in my house!

Laurie B July 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm

BRILLIANT – cannot wait to try this – life-altering!!! 😛

Rachel July 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

First of all, you crack me up! I’m also having a love affair with cilantro. It makes my special light shine. I’m so making this sauce! You rock!!!!!!! I stalk.

macha July 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm

i grow cilantro! love it!!

Robyn Youkilis July 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm

i love you jenny and i love reading your healthy crush articles. they both make me really happy. i’m sure i will love this cilantro sauce just as much when i make it very very soon. 🙂

Stephanie July 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hey Jenny! I was super excited about this recipe because, like you, I LOVE cilantro. I made it last night, and honestly it was really salty. Perhaps too much soy sauce? It also didn’t look at all like yours….it was a bit darker. Next time, I’m going to cut the soy sauce back significantly. Thanks for posting though….YAY Cilantro!

jenny sansouci August 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Hi Stephanie! Sounds like you have the right idea if it tastes too salty – try it with less tamari! I also made mine in a Vita-Mix so maybe that’s why the color came out differently. xo

Carlos August 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

God bless you Sansouci, for cracking this code. It tastes sooooo good.

Rebecca Sly August 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi Jenny – Fellow IINer here! Love your site! Its beautiful! I am recently getting into cilantro. I found your recipe and I am going home to try it! I have a vitamix and love it to death! Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your business! I also have a crush! 🙂 lol

Kimmie Andresen-Reed February 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I made it today to go with my sushi, it was salty, but that’s to be expected with soy sauce, and it worked perfectly for sushi! This recipe pretty much combines all my favorite things, cilantro, garlic, soy sauce…you really can’t go wrong. I’ve been transitioning to vegan foods for a month or so now, and it’s hard because I’m so used to having sauce and lots of moisture in my food (from fatty meats and cheese), so it’s great to find some healthy, vegan alternatives.

Diane June 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Loved your cilantro sauce. It’s great on everything! I always double the recipe because it goes fast in my house.. Thanks so much for the recipe:)

Skinz September 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Cilantro, garlic, red onions, olive oil and frank’s hot sauce is the greatest beef marinade ever. Ever.

Empress February 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Trying that RIGHT NOW! YEESSSS!!!!

Joby October 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I made this minus a couple ingredients I couldnt find and it was still delicious im putting it on everything lol thanks!

Destiny October 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Cilantro is the only known thing to actually pull mercury from the brain!

Loryn January 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I made this the other night and I LOVE IT! I didn’t have any fresh ginger, so I just put a little ginger powder, but it tastes sooo yummy! I can’t wait to make it again with the fresh ginger 🙂 I put it on top of the quinoa egg bowl which I made with sweet potatoes. YUM!! xo

lori ann January 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hi there 🙂 SO psyched to try this recipe! I live in FL, and there is a chain restaurant down here that has a cilantro sauce on its salsa bar – trouble it, it’s mayo based, and has a zillion calories. The stuff is SO amazing…seriously, if I thinned it out a bit I’d drink it like a milkshake!! I slather it on their rice…OMG, the magic!!! I have a crush on cilantro, too!! I’m hoping your delightful-sounding sauce is a MUCH healthier alternative. My arteries and tastebuds all thank you! 🙂

Lori Ann

Megan February 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I randomly found this post when searching for things to do with left over cilantro and this is one of the most fabulous recipes I have ever encountered! I’m pretty sure that I would die without garlic and cilantro, so this combination is a-mazing. I always double the recipe and add about half of a cup of plain greek yogurt to make into a veggie dip… heavenly!

Thank you so much for posting this! 🙂

lisa August 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

try using low sodium soy sauce- less salty

Penny Good April 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I totally agree with you with this cilantro sauce. I was at a restaurant in Scottsdale, Az and ordered an appetizer that was california egg rolls.
It was made with avocados and packed in egg rolls with a side of sauce.
As soon as I dipped my appetizer in this sauce I was totally amazed how
good it was. I asked the waiter what was in the sauce and they didn’t really want to tell me what it was so, I encouraged him and he said I think it is cilantro with olive oil and garlic wella! I have been sold on this sauce ever since. The name of the restaurant in Scottsdale is Kona Grill.

michelle April 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Just made this. I love it so much. Thank you. I knew to look in your website for a dope sauce.

Jeanie April 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

It’s chimichurri. Traditional Argentine steak sauce. I made it last year from my garden and … holy yum.

Abigail Toonks January 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Amazing sauce! Now I know what to do with all of my extra cilantro. I think this would be amazing over tofu with short grain rice.

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