Thai Basil Herb (O. basilicum var. thysiflora)
Thai basil herb is commonly used in cooking through out south east Asia in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Where it is available almost every where that there is a fresh market or supermarket.
Thai basil is used in many Thai dishes, but the most popular by far are the Thai green curry and the Thai red curry, with their unique flavours recognised all around the world.
Later in this article I will show you how to make a delicious green curry using a good quality Thai green curry paste and fresh eggplant and Thai basil leaves.
As the supermarkets in your home country rarely stock fresh Thai Basil Herb. Luckily they are available online fresh and dried.
These leaves have a strong aroma with distinct sweet and anise flavours with purple stems. They are used as an extra condiment to many Thai noodle dishes. The leaves are added after cooking to your bowl of noodles together with any chilli and fish sauce condiments required, they give your meal very distinct and delicious flavours.
Here is a green curry I like to cook at home for the family. It's an easy recipe and can be spicy or not spicy according to your taste. I also find this dish best served with steamed rice or boiled rice.
I am using chicken in my green curry below but you can use pork which works equally as well. Buying green curry paste is available online.
So to start cooking you will need a wok or a large saucepan and all your ingredients ready as listed below. And don't forget to start cooking your rice first as this takes a little time.
Serves 4 people
100 grams Green curry paste
600 grams of chicken sliced
500 ml coconut milk
12 x Eggplant (medium to large size) each cut into 4 pieces
5 x Stems of Thai basil, leaves only
5 x Red chilli rough sliced
2 x Tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower cooking oil
Heat the wok or saucepan on a fairly high heat and add the oil.
Once the oil is heated add the green curry paste and fry it for a minute to let it cook.
Then add the chicken and stir in so the green curry coats the chicken and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken has changed colour.
Now add the coconut milk. Once its started to boil turn the heat down and simmer.
At this point you add the eggplant and leave for 10 minutes or until the egg plant is cooked. Then add the Thai basil leaves and the rough sliced red chilli.
Your Thai green curry is ready to serve.