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A fragrant herb used in Asian cuisine of South Asia

Basil is a fragrant herb used in the Asian cuisine of South Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Laos. Basil leaves are usually added at the end of cooking as overcooking can ruin the flavor. Asian cooks have several varieties of basil that they use in salads and in cooking besides sweet basil, the green variety often associated with Italian cooking.

Varieties of Basil

Hairy Basil
(Indonesian: indring; Thai: bai magnlak) With a slight lemon fragrance and peppery taste, the hairy basil is used in salads and as a condiment.

A mild flavored variety native to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Purple or Red Basil
(Thai: bai krapow) Similar to sweet basil, the leaves of the red basil are red to purple in color. The flavor of this variety intensifies with cooking

Basil Seeds
When soaked in water, the seeds of several basil varieties become gelatinous and are used in drinks and desserts.

  • Vietnamese
    rau que
  • Indonesian
  • Thai
    bai horapa
  • Thai
    bai magnlak
  • Thai
    bai krapow