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Thread: Substitute for Thai Basil?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Substitute for Thai Basil?

    I've got a few Thai recipes I'd like to attempt but all call for Thai Basil which I haven't been able to locate; I remember an old landlord of mine used to grow it and it had kind of a lemony taste. I'm thinking of winging it with some traditional French Basil and a pinch of lemongrass (both dried from Penzey's); wondering if any of you have used this ingredient and think that would work as a substitute... Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Thai Basil actually has kind of a licorice-y taste, not lemony.

  3. #3
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    I'd substitute fresh Italian basil.
    *******************
    my personal chef service: Anastasia's Table Personal Chef Service

  4. #4
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    With Zwieback - it's more intensely licorice, not lemon.
    I may be in the minority, but I've never liked Italian basil in Asian dishes. Even though they're related, I find the difference very noticeable (and fresh is key in Thai dishes - I'd forego the dried herbs). When I can't be bothered tracking down Thai basil I substitute cilantro. Obviously a very different herb, but it seems more complementary to the cuisine.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  5. #5
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    My solution to not being able to easily find Thai Basil is to grow it. Outdoors in the summer, in my AeroGarden the rest of the year. My AeroGarden is exclusively used to grow Thai Basil.
    *******************
    my personal chef service: Anastasia's Table Personal Chef Service

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    C. I. suggests substituting mint, not sweet basil for Thai basil, per a post by funniegrrl back in '06. They said they detected hints of licorice, cinnamon, and mint.

  7. #7

    Substitute for Thai Basil

    A pinch of ground Star Anise.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    I'm glad that this thread was resurrected-- never thought of star anise, but it does have that licorice-y flavor that Thai basil has.

    Actually, I just do without making Thai food over the winter/early spring because Thai basil is so difficult to find locally and is so essential (I start seeds in April, then move the pots indoors before the first frost, where the plants will last for about a month before dying). However, in March I found them at an Oriental grocery and it was great-- Thai food practically every day for 2 weeks!


    wait... or was the above post spam??? I can never figure it out...
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

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