Herbs Used in Thai Cuisine

A lawyer and wine enthusiast living in Irvine, California, Kamran A. Khawar enjoys spending time exploring new wines at wineries and/or restaurants. Additionally, Kamran A. Khawar likes to cook, from Mexican to Italian to Thai cuisines.

Known for dishes like pad thai, pad see yew, and green curry chicken, Thai cuisine utilizes many fresh herbs. Cilantro, for example, serves a variety of purposes. Its roots appear in recipes for curries and sauces, while the leaves liven up salads and soups. Stems are not wasted and instead, make a great addition to stocks.

Unique varieties of basil are also incorporated into Thai cuisine. Holy basil, known as bai grapow, comes in many shades and offers a similar taste to cloves. On the other hand, Thai basil has an appearance much like sweet basil, but imparts a licorice flavor that reminds cooks and diners of anise. This version, used heavily in Thai fare, pairs well with red and green curries, as well as finishes off salads and stir-fries.

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