In the Asian market Asian basil are also known as Asian chives. It is like a bundle of leaves which are thick and long. The leaves are also known as grass. These leaves are solid and they are not as hollow as the western basil. They are known as Asian flat leaf chives. Some of their names are kutsay, kucai, chaai and nira. It is also called as garlic chive. The taste of this herb is light garlic. This herb is usually chopped into smaller pieces and is often added to fried rice and dishes with noodles. They are also used for garnishing a dish even if it is an eastern dish. Asian basil goes well with cheese and eggs. The stalk and the flowers are also key ingredients in a famous delicacy in China. It is typically stir fried with some oil from peanuts, oyster sauce, sugar and some cornstarch.
When it is kept in a cool place the Asian basil will have a longer life. To have the tastiest dish you should always buy and pick the fresh group. The fresh Asian basil should be very green and the leaves should be shiny and smooth. The ends of its stalks should also be fresh and the upper parts should not wilt. The Asian basil belongs to the Allium group which also has leeks, onion and garlic. The Asian basil has a good amount of phosphorus and potassium which is responsible for building stronger bones. It also has good quantity of vitamin A for the eyes and calcium too.
For the Thai basil to be fresh you must check the scent. The Thai Basil is so fragrant that you would smell them while walking in the Asian market. The leaves of the Thai basil should be clean and it should not have any bruises or punctures. The black coloring on the leaves would mean that it is already days old or it was roughly kept. This color is not desirable and should not be bought.
Basil is one of the herbs that many people know has many benefits for the body. Many herbalists suggest this herb as a stimulant for more appetite and it also helps improve digestion. Basil is also an herb known to fight depression and it can even help improve the immune or defense system of the body. Below is a recipe of a famous Asian recipe with Asian basil.
Thai Basil Chicken
1. one pound boned chicken breast
2. two tablespoons of oil preferably peanut oil
3. four cloves of minced garlic
4. four green onions that should be chopped
5. four green chili peppers that is also chopped
6. three fourth cup of chopped Asian basil leaves that are fresh.
7. two tablespoons of fish sauce
1. Cut the chicken into small slivers.
2. Add the oil and fry the onions and the garlic first for two minutes.
3. Put the chilis and stir for one more minute
4. Add the chicken and stir-fry it until it gets cooked.
5. Mix the fish sauce then the basil and mix them altogether and serve it with rice.