Thursday, August 09, 2007

Herbs: Thai Basil - sweet, holy or hairy

There are innumerable sorts of basil.
The most well-known is surely the Italian basil,
without this tasty tomatoes with Mozzarella cheese would not be complete.
In the Thai kitchen 3 different sorts Basil are used .
The taste of the Thai basil can not be replaced by other herbs or spices
and is only freshly used.

1. BAI HORAPA oder Sweet Basil

One recognizes Horapa by its dark-violet stacks
and its anise or liquorice smell and taste.
for the red and the green Thai Curry Horapa is indispensably.
The leafes are added as a whole or finely cutted at the end of the cockingtime .
One hands fried, crispy Horapa leafes also to roasted fish, etc....
Also in Viet Nam Horapa is a popular and a much used herb.

2. BAI GAPRAO oder Holy Basil

The taste is hot- peppery.
It has the name holy basil probably from India,
where it was used for ritual purposes,
but in the Indian kitchen it does not have a meaning.
In the Thai Cuisine however the more.
Unfortunately there is no common writing for the Thai language
and so people write like : gaprao, krapao, krapaw and so on
for the probably most popular dish for Thai people: PAD Gaprao,
meat or fish fried with Gaprao Basil (very hot!),
fried crispy leafes served with fried fish
or "Tua khi mau" roasted nuts with hot spices.

3. BAI MENGLAK oder Hairy Basil

Menglak has a lemonish taste
and is mostly eaten as a condiment to "Khanom jeen" a Thai noodle curry.


Andaliman said...

Does hairy basil have red stalks too? Because in Indonesian culinary, we use kemangi (english: lemon basil) and lemon basil doesn't have red stalk

thaipop said...

hairy basil doesn´t have red stalks and I think it is kemangi.

Bharathy said...

Thanks a lot for favouriting my blog in Technorati!!I needed to favourite this food blog of yours but I am not able to sign up as a member yet!!!
Thai food is my alltime favourite!!:)

Carving said...

I really like your blog. I can see you know a great deal about Thai cooking. I am living in Bangkok, and I have a business and a blog that might be of interest to you and your readers. Perhaps we can exchange links?

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

It was when I was in Thailand that I realised hoe yum the Thai basil is. But, can I get it here? I have looked, no luck yet..... yum

thaipop said...

@ Bev and Ollie "O"
In Europe You can find fresh Thai Basil
in Thai managed Asia Shops.