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    Thai Basil


    Thai basil is a compact plant with small, thin, green, pointed leaves. Some Thai basil is sold with beautiful pink and purple flower spikes still attached to the red-purple stems. It has an assertive spicy and floral sweet flavor with a licorice aroma. The leaves, flowers and stems can all be used for culinary purposes. 


    Thai basil is available year-round. 

    Current Facts

    Thai basil, botanically classified as Ocimum basilicum or Ocimum thyrsiflora, and is also commonly known as sweet basil or Siam Queen basil. This tropical variety of sweet basil provides the unusual anise-clove flavor present in so many Asian dishes including Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Loatian cuisine. 

    Nutritional Value

    Thai basil has notably high levels of vitamin K and A as well as containing fair amounts of folate. Basil is know for its beneficial essential oil, which has been shown to lower blood glucose and promote healthy cholesterol levels. 


    Thai basil should be considered a complementary element to many raw applications, including salads and crudos as well as a finishing herb/spice for hot dishes. Add chopped fresh Thai basil to tomato-based pasta sauce. Cook Thai eggplant, roast duck, bamboo shoots and pumpkin in a coconut curry broth, then stir in 1 bunch of chopped Thai basil at the end of cooking. Thai basil is delicate and should be used immediately upon purchase. 

    Ethnic/Cultural Info

    In the culinary landscape, Thai basil is not just considered an herb. It is utilized as a vegetable within recipes in many types of dishes, including curries, stir-fried dishes, salads and soups. There are three types of basil commonly used in Thai cuisine: Bai horapa, Kra phao Thai holy basil and Manglak Thai lemon basil, all of which have similar but different basil qualities.
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