The Most Under-Valued Spice, According To MasterChef's D'Andre Balaoing

It is hard to describe just how important spices are to food. Gordon Ramsay has yelled at many a chef for their lack of seasoning and actually enlisted an expert to pick the best spices for him, so you know he takes them seriously (via Youtube). One Green Planet actually highlights eight mistakes one can make when cooking with spices . The cardinal mistake, as you can probably guess, is not using enough salt.

While overusing spices can lead to problems at times — ranging from way too much salt to too spicy or sweet — the have also been known to make dishes overly bitter, depending on the spices you are using. And, although some spices are praised and heavily utilized by chefs and home cooks alike, there are others that really don't get enough love, rarely seeing the light of day beyond a quick opening of a cabinet. And, according to "MasterChef" cast member D'Andre Balaoing, coriander is the most under-valued one.

D'Andre Balaoing wants to see more coriander in your recipes

Balaoing, who was featured on "Masterchef" Season 7, was known for bringing some serious pastry game to the table. And, as you can see from his recent Instagram posts, that has not changed one bit. But beyond his love for the world of decadent pastries, the chef had a more savory spice in mind when Spiceology asked him what he thought was the most undervalued spice is. Balaoing revealed his answer to be coriander, nothing it "deserves its time in the sun."

"Like most seeded herbs, I love the different varieties and florality. It brings out delicate flavors in fish, and in pho it can echo spices and really carry a chile, giving the impression of spiciness without being spicy. It's my MVP, and I actually toast and grind the coriander myself. It goes in everything," he explained to the outlet. And this includes his favorite cocktail which Balaoing says he makes using gin steeped with coriander and other herbs, which the chef then combines with "Creme de Violet, lemon, and maraschino" to create a drink called The Aviation. 

Looks like it might be time to start researching some recipes with coriander to match that drink so your next spice purchase doesn't go to waste, languishing in the back of your kitchen cabinet. Take a note from the chef and incorporate coriander into your next kitchen creation!