It’s not surprising that Thai food is so popular. Lightly cooked foods, balanced with aromatic herbs and spices, is as sensual as it is delicious. Satisfying curries and noodle dishes, simmering bowls of soup, shrimp, chicken, duck, fish, pork, squid, veges – plus coconut, rice and more – are all part of a gastro-adventure otherwise known as Thai cuisine. The intermingling of sweet with sour, hot with spicy, pungent with mild, is tantalizing, and, for some us, dishes that also include licorice/anise-flavored Thai basil, a kind of sweet basil native to Southeast Asia, is just icing on the cake. When used in its fresh, uncooked state, a sprinkling of Thai basil adds a splash of brilliant flavor to hot soups and entrées, as well as to other dishes such as zesty salads and wraps. And, because Thai basil’s flavor persists under high cooking temperatures, the herb’s bright essence remains perceptible even in a quick stir-fry, or a long-simmering sauce – such as versatile Thai Basil Sauce. With Thai basil at its core, the application for Thai Basil Sauce is limitless, be it with vegetables, meat, fish or fowl – this sauce loves them all. If you’ve never tried your hand at Thai cooking, don’t be timid about having a go at it. Asian ingredients are in good supply in the ethnic food aisle of larger supermarkets and many communities are home to Asian food markets that stock a wide range of ingredients both fresh and otherwise.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.