I’ve been using the Genovese, Large-Leaf sweet and Purple Basil all summer, but last night was the first time I was able to use the Thai Basil. It’s been some what of a challenge as it was very slow to start growing and filling out. Only one of resulting Thai basil plants is big enough to utilize while the others are still puny and small. I think it might be more sensitive to the cooler temperatures as the other varieties grew nice and tall while it took it’s sweet time. It is still very pretty to look at as it has green leaves and purple stems and flowers. I couldn’t help but attempt a bouquet out of the left over branches last night.
Thai Basil has a very strong flavor which doesn’t make it ideal to substitute for other basil varieties. I was also surprised by the limited amount of recipes I could find online for this herb. We put our heads together and thought up a Fried Rice recipe utilizing items from our garden. We used jalapeño but you could substitute any spicy pepper. I unfortunately had to buy the cilantro (mine died ages ago) and bell pepper (it’s another plant taking it’s time). The end result was a delicious, hearty dinner. It was by far the best fried rice I’ve ever had.
Thai Fried Rice
Yield 2-4 Servings
2 Cups of cooked and cooled jasmine or long-grain rice
2 large garlic cloves
1 jalapeño finely chopped
1/4 yellow onion
1/8 olive oil
2 large chicken breasts cubed
Combine Separatly in a Small Bowl
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 sweet bell pepper julienned
1 cup of Thai Basil
1/2 cup of cilantro sprigs
1. Heat the oil and add garlic, onion, jalapeño pepper and stir constantly.
2. Add chicken and continue to stir. Then add the sugar and sauce mixture. Stir until chicken is cooked.
3. Split the chicken mixture on one side of pan then add beaten eggs, then stir until cooked.
4. Add rice and mix well, frying for a a few minutes and constantly stirring. Add bell pepper, cilantro, and basil leaves.
5. Remove from heat and serve.