Did you know that there are more than 40 known variations of basil in the world?
In Asia, we are familiar with lemon basil, sweet basil and holy basil.
Lemon basil has a wonderful lemon aroma and is most commonly used in Indonesia and Thai cuisine. Lemon basil is best used fresh and at the last moments of cooking as heat kills the flavour of the basil quickly.
Sweet basil has a pungent and spicy flavour that is reminiscent of cloves. It is best paired with tomatoes, pasta sauces and also combines well with other herbs such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano. Sweet basil can also be used in poultry, fish, and egg dishes. It is a versatile herb and can be paired with most flavours. Similarly with lemon basil, it is best served fresh for maximum flavour.
Holy basil is spicier than most other basil and has a peppery taste when it's fresh. This type of basil is best cooked to bring out maximum flavour and is commonly found in Thai dishes such as Thai Basil Chicken. It is quite hard to find in our local supermarkets but can be found at Golden Mile Complex.
We hope this article has been helpful in differentiating the types of basil and how to use them best!