thai basil pesto.

i forgot to take a picture of this mouth-watering creation!

i don’t know where i got this idea ~ it was from some magazine.  but i made up the recipe myself and it is sensational.

we all know and love basil pesto, right?

what about THAI basil pesto?

this can be done with regular italian, fragrant, green basil.  0r you can get fancy and authentic, and use thai basil, which has a slightly different flavor profile.

it’s what you put with it that changes EVERYTHING.

here are the basics you need:

  • a couple bunches of fresh basil (thai or other)
  • olive oil
  • thai chili paste (i absolutely love the THAI KITCHEN red curry paste)
  • soy sauce
  • toasted sesame oil
  • fresh ginger
  • garlic
  • peanuts or peanut butter (peanuts would be best)

and here are the optional additions:

  • fish sauce
  • thai chilis (small and red and very strong ~ make sure to take the seeds out!)
  • honey (if you’re not already sweet enough)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • cilantro
  • lime juice

i used these additions and loved them, but you might not be interested in investing in all this thai food madness!  but i’ve said this before, and it still rings true ~ you can invest in that little bottle of chili paste, the fish sauce, and the ginger, and this stuff will last forever in your fridge (or the freezer for the ginger).  then you have everything you need to make asian fusion happen in your very own kitchen, rather than ordering takeout.  it’s worth it!

as with most of my recipes, you decide the quantities of these ingredients.  you need a lot of basil, so the next time your farmers market has bunches of basil for $1, buy 4 or 5 bunches and make a big batch.  freeze it in baggies or ice cube trays and you have thai basil pesto any time you want.

you definitely want fresh ginger, and at least an inch of it.

and the garlic?  the more the better (and healthier)!

everything else is just to your preference.

since you’re just throwing all this stuff in a blender, you can drop it all in small quantities and taste as you go.  start with all the liquids ~ the olive oil, the soy sauce, etc. ~ so you can keep the blender moving.

here’s what you can do with this amazing stuff!

  1. toss with rice noodles or zucchini noodles for an asian pesto pasta
  2. use as a marinade for grilled portobello mushrooms, salmon, shrimp, or chicken
  3. add rice wine vinegar and a little hot water for a delicious salad dressing!
  4. toss with steamed vegetables.

here’s what we did with it that night…

grilled hamburgers topped with natural, organic peanut butter, served with stir-fried zucchini

i mixed the thai basil pesto in with the hamburgers and the hub grilled them up!

it was the hub’s idea to top them with peanut butter because there’s a restaurant in town that serves a peanut butter burger that we love (shout out to tomfooleries!!!)

i did a portobello mushroom in the same way for myself, but i had both the hamburger and the mushroom, minus the bun.

the zucchini is stir-fried in sesame oil and a little soy sauce, and tossed at the end with toasted sesame seeds.  yummy!

asian fusion food can be so fun at home, and probably a lot healthier (and faster) than your local takeout.  i hope this post will inspire you to try your own version!



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