Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 14, 2011 02:51 PM

Can pesto be made with Thai basil (horapha)?

I usually make pesto with regular sweet basil, but I've been growing a huge pot of Thai basil outside and am thinking of using some of it soon for pesto. I'm a little concerned, though, that the pesto may have too much of a licorice-like flavor, since Thai basil is stronger than regular. Has anyone tried this?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My husband made some the other night using half Thai basil and half regular sweet basil. It came out great!

    1. Yes, it can. Perhaps try it with some sweet basil as Euonymous suggested or add a bit of mint.

      1. I've done a SE Asian version of pesto with thai basil and peanuts and chili. I might have done cilantro and mint too, can't remember.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sarahcooks

          I like this idea, although this "pesto" would perhaps be better over rice or rice noodles than over Italian pasta. Thanks!

          1. re: cheesemaestro

            I have done something similar to this. Thai basil, cilantro, peanuts, sambal olek, a little sugar and some fish sauce to taste. Works well as a dipping sauce for grilled skewers of meat.

        2. Add an equal amount of spinach.

          1. pesto means paste. same root (also pestle)

            so yes. there are many many pestos besides the now standard basil/nut/cheese/oil/garlic one.