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Jan 5, 2011 09:05 AM

Thai/holy basil question

I'm making a red curry for dinner and usually finish the dish with holy basil. My usual place didn't have any basil at all. Would it be worth it to use regular basil? Should I just leave it out?

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  1. To me, it's worth it, altho the authenticity police are probably tracing my IP address as I type. Freshly torn mint would also be a nice sub.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

      I know what you mean, I locked my door and turned out the lights after asking the question. Thanks!

    2. Absolutely use basil. I agree with mint, but as an addition and not a sustitute as well as cilantro.

      1. In this case I do about 50% regular basil and 50% mint. In my entire freaking city (and it's a fairly big one) there is no holy basil for sale, grrrr... or Thai bird chilis. But I wouldn't just leave it out. Enjoy your curry!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: alliegator

          I've read about mint as a substitute, but never used it since I can always get holy basil. Will try it out as an addition though.

        2. The Thai basil and Italian basil taste totally different to me. I would just leave it out.

          6 Replies
          1. re: luckyfatima

            Ive never seen fresh holy basil for sale in NYC tho its easy enough to grow from seed.. Thai basil is quite different. from holy basil and it is findable. From my standpoint, any basil, would be just fine. Cilantro as a second choice - its good to have the fresh herbal garnish..

            1. re: jen kalb

              They sometimes have fresh holy basil at the Thai market on Mosco Street in NYC's Chinatown.

              To the OP -- personally, I would leave it out. But mint does sound interesting. Must try it sometime!

              1. re: jen kalb

                There's a little Thai grocery store in Woodside right across the street from sripraphai that usually has both, or at least one of them. They had neither today. I think I'll put a little in and see how it goes. I could always add more if I like it.

                1. re: donovt

                  Im glad that Woodside store is getting better supplied. On the occasions Ive been in there not in the last yere) they have had very little of anything.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I may have just gotten lucky the few times I've been there. Just recently started trying to cook Thai food. I get pretty basic stuff there, holy basil, kaffir lime leaves and chilies.

                    1. re: donovt

                      that fresh stuff can be the hardest stuff to get so congrats and glad your dish turned out well.

            2. I would do Basil, mint and cilantro with a red curry..

              1 Reply
              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                I made the curry tonight with the regular basil. Not bad, nice to have a fesh herb as a garnish, but definitely missed the holy basil.