Can you substitute Thai basil for Italian basil?

Can I use Thai basil in place of Italian basil?

Yes it will work technically, but the flavors are pretty different and so your pesto will taste very different (I find Thai basil more licorice flavored).

What can I use Thai basil for?

Thai basil and it’s close relative holy basil are used in South-east Asian cooking to bring a delicate aniseed and clove flavour to recipes. Use Thai basil in recipes such as green and red curries, pho noodle dishes and summer rolls.

What kind of basil is used in pesto?

Sweet Basil (see above): The most commonly found type in the U.S. and the most familiar, sweet basil has smooth, bright green leaves that are essential in pesto. Genovese basil is a variety of sweet basil that has a floral and delicate aroma.

What is Italian basil?

Italian basil is not a real cultivar (by cultivar I mean “cultural variety”) of basil. “Italian basil” a general term for the types of basil that may be used in Italian cooking. The two types of basil cultivars that are used in Italian cooking include Sweet Basil, the most common cultivar, and Genovese Basil.

Should I cut the flowers off my Thai basil?

Check your basil plants frequently for flowers, and if you see any, pinch them off right away. If the flower stems are too woody to pinch (often the case with Thai basil), cut them off with shears. A plant allowed to flower will soon go to seed, stop growing, and die, so be vigilant about removing flowers.

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