Cooking, Culture, Food and Drink

Thai Basil Hack

I’ve not made any secret, over the years, of the fact that I love Thai food.  Or of the marvelous opportunity–almost five years ago now–that I enjoyed an actual cooking class in actual Thailand.

But I sometimes suffer the consequences of living in the northeastern United States, far away from some of those luscious and exotic ingredients.

I recently made a lovely Thai green curry, to this recipe (pictured).  But–owing to some personal exigencies, and the failure of local supermarkets to oblige, I didn’t have any Thai basil to include.

So I searched out some options and, having found a few, mixed and matched to develop the following alternative:

One cup Italian basil leaves

6-8 large mint leaves

A generous 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed

Put all ingredients (the leaves well-washed) on a paper towel and chop so that the mint and basil leaves are about the same size. If the anise seeds get crushed along the way, that’s a bonus. (Thai basil leaves are smaller than Italian basil leaves, so you need to cut the Italian variety up so that the basil leaves don’t overwhelm the mint.)

Use as directed in the recipe.

Pretty good.  If not “outstanding,” at least “acceptable.”

Next year: Excelsior!  I’ll restart the Thai basil growing program here at Chateau Right, and see if I can manage to stay on top of “bringing it in/putting it out” as based on the diktats of the weather.

Watch this space.  Meanwhile, I can deal.

Sweet Thai Asian Basil


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