Herbs for Health: Take Your Taste Buds on a Trip to Thailand

Herbs for Health: Take Your Taste Buds on a Trip to Thailand

Thai basil, with its intoxicating liquorice aroma and peppery notes, is more than just a pretty herb. It's the heart and soul of many iconic Thai dishes, adding a depth of flavour that instantly transports you to the bustling streets of Bangkok. But this vibrant herb's versatility extends far beyond stir-fries. So, buckle up, food adventurers, because we're diving into the delicious world of Thai basil recipes!

spicy minced pork salad thai basil herb

Source: Food & Wine

The undisputed king of Thai basil dishes, Pad Kra Pao features stir-fried meat (chicken, pork, or even tofu) bursting with garlic, chilies, and the hero ingredient – Thai basil. The key lies in the quick stir-frying, which preserves the basil's vibrant green color and releases its unique flavor. Serve it over steaming jasmine rice for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Pad Krapow 


  • 5 Thai chile peppers
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola,
  • divided 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup holy basil leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 cups cooked jasmine rice


Step 1

Roughly chop Thai chilies and garlic before adding them to a mortar and pestle. Smash using an up and down motion with a pestle until combined (mixture doesn't have to be ground into a paste), about 1 minute.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in wok over high heat until shimmering. Add chile mixture and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 3

Add ground chicken to wok, and stir-fry until meat turns opaque, about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Stir in oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar and cook until liquids evaporate.

Step 5

Turn off heat, transfer chicken mixture to a large bowl and immediately stir in basil leaves.

infused oil vinegar basil thai herb health

Source: Curry Trail

Steep Thai basil leaves in olive oil or vinegar for a week, and you'll have a flavorful condiment waiting to elevate your dishes. Drizzle it over grilled fish, roasted vegetables, or even popcorn for a burst of Thai-inspired goodness.

Thai Basil Infused Oils and Vinegars


  • 2 cups fresh thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  • Pick fresh basil. Rinse to remove any dirt.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil.
  • Add clean basil leaves to the pot of boiling water. Blanch for 20 seconds.
Note: if blanched for longer basil will loose it’s vibrant green colour and turn dark.
  • Immediately drain it from boiling water and shock it in ice water bath to stop cooking process.
  • Let it sit in water bath for a minute or two.
  • Drain it from ice water bath.
  • Place it on kitchen towel to remove some of the excess liquid.

Note: DO NOT press basil leaves on kitchen towel to dry. It will loose some of it’s flavours. Let is simply sit on kitchen towel for couple of minutes.

  • Into a blender add blanched basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pinch of kosher salt.
  • Blend until it turns into smooth puree.

Note: Transfer to clean, dry, sterilized air tight container and store in fridge for up to 2 days. Throw away the oil if you haven’t used it in 2 days to avoid a fatal form of food poisoning called botulism!

herb health thai basil cuisine

Tips for Thai basil Bliss:

  • Fresh is best: Thai basil loses its potency quickly, so use it fresh whenever possible. Look for bright green, firm leaves at your local Asian grocery store.
    • Tame the heat: Adjust the amount of chilies according to your spice preference. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away!
      • Don't overcook: Thai basil wilts quickly. Add it towards the end of cooking to preserve its vibrant color and flavor.

        With its unique aroma and versatility, Thai basil is a gateway to exploring the exciting world of Thai cuisine. So, grab a bunch, unleash your inner chef, and embark on a delicious culinary adventure!


        Bonus Read:

        More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Stay tuned for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...


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