This article provides an overview of Thai basil, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make Thai basil substitutes.
What is Thai Basil?
Thai basil is a type of basil that is native to Southeast Asia and has since been cultivated to provide desired distinctive traits. It is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Thai, Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian, where it is favored for its unique taste and high heat tolerability, compared to regular sweet basil.
What does Thai Basil taste like?
Thai basil has a distinct anise and licorice-like taste and aroma, that is slightly sweet and slightly spicy.
Is Thai Basil readily available in Supermarkets?
Thai basil is readily available throughout Asia, however, in western supermarkets, it may be more difficult to locate.
What are some alternative names for Thai Basil?
There are no common alternative names for Thai basil however in Thailand it can, as you would expect, be referred to as simple basil.
What is a good substitute for Thai Basil in recipes?
Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for Thai basil. These include:
- A great substitute for Thai basil would be holy basil, which shares similar tastes, except is more peppery.
- You can also use regular sweet basil or regular ‘Italian’ basil, but as it will lack some of that distinctive earthy and pepper flavor, you can use it alongside mint.