Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)
Holy basil, is probably known best for its uses in Thai cooking, In Thai language this basil is called Kaphrao.
This basil has a very strong aroma and a peppery flavour and is a very predominant ingredient in some Thai cooking.
Diabetes- Based on human and animal studies using every part of this herb can help reduce blood sugar levels and mildly reducing cholesterol levels.
Skin infections-This herb has antibacterial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiviral compounds, which when applied to the skin it is a good natural remedy for acne, wounds and other skin related irritations.
Respiratory disorder- This herb has great healing properties especially when dealing with the respiratory system. With its bacterial, viral and fungal fighting abilities it can give huge relief from congestion. Its effectiveness in curing respiratory disorders is quite remarkable. It is also a good remedy for bronchitis both chronic and acute.
Vitamins- A, C, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folates
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium.
In Thailand this herb is sold absolutely every where from supermarkets to local markets, but to acquire this herb out of Thailand in your own country then i would suggest buying it online fresh or pre packed and dried forms. If fresh is not available I would recommend the pre packed over the dried especially when trying to recreate a Thai dish like Phad Kaphroa moo or gai, which translates to fried basil with pork or chicken.
The Phad Kaphroa moo or gai (fried basil with pork or chicken) is probably the most common dish cooked with holy basil that us western folk can eat.
In Thailand it is a very popular dish and is eaten any time of the day. It comes served with steamed rice and is also popular with a fried egg.
Thai cooking can seem difficult to recreate but with the help of Lobo brand Thai holy basil seasoning paste I am able to give you a recipe that is simple to make and tastes great. These paste’s are great to cook with adding flavours that could be hard to buy or re-create in your home country. This Pad Kaphroa paste is available online.
This dish normally comes quite spicy so you might need to go easy on the chillies if your not so keen on a fiery mouth!
It’s best to cook this in a wok over a high heat if possible. If you don't have a wok a large frying pan will suffice.
1 x Sachet of Lobo brand Thai holy basil seasoning paste.
250grams Finely sliced pork fillet.
3 x Large cloves of garlic
3 x Small red chilli
1 large handful of fresh Holy Basil (can use dried if unavailable)
15ml vegetable or sunflower cooking oil
Using a pestle and mortar (preferred) smash the chilli and garlic together roughly, or can place a large knife over the chilli and garlic smash it and chop roughly.
Put your wok or pan on a high heat add the oil, when hot add the chilli and garlic, let it fry for a few seconds then add the pork with the Lobo brand Thai holy basil seasoning paste.
Let fry until the pork is cooked, add the water and stir it through, at this point put all the holy basil into the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes and serve.
The last thing to do at this point is fry an egg and add to the plate with the rice.