Friday 9 April 2010

Food: Thai Basils

Thai Lemon Basil

After reading my last entry about Manuka honey and liquorice roots, have you tried any of them? I hope your mouth ulcers are disappearing faster now.

Various Spices

As a curry lover, I taste different curries from around the world: originals and hybrids, mutated and new-aged, East and West... I can claim that I am an expert of my OWN preference of curry!

Various Thai Curry


Okay, I hear some booing sounds, but what do you expect me to say? There is never standard good or bad, it differs from individual to individual.

Alright, let me begin!

One of the spices I really like is Thai basils, a herb commonly used in Thai cuisine, especially in Thai curry. I love it because of its distinctive minty sweet flavour and it is extremely refreshing! The taste is so special that it has earned the Chinese name, "Non-exchangeable even with gold".

Thai Lemon Basil 

There are in fact 3 types of Thai basil: horapa Sweet basil , Kra phao Thai holy basil, Manglak Thai lemon basil. Among all 3, I am most interested in knowing about the Thai lemon basil as it is the most common.

Wikipedia states that,

  1.  It is actually quite hardy and will grow continuously given only water, but flavor will be at risk if not given any fertilizer, chemical or organic.
  2. It can really grow in a matter of weeks.
  3. Basil should never reach flowering during the harvesting periods.
  4. If given a chance to flower, its flavor will be sacrificed and the leaves become smaller and rather leathery.
  5.  Propagation is achieved by sowing seeds and from stem cuttings.
  6. Stem cuttings will gain roots after a week of being soaked in water.
  7. As many cuttings as the gardener wishes can be planted, preferably the most vigorous stems that can be found because they will root faster.
  8. The water should be changed every few days.
  9. After 2-3 weeks, the roots will be long enough for the cuttings to be transplanted into pots or planted in their permanent position in the garden.

Now, after reading 9 points, what does it tell us? Well, maybe many, but the most important of all is that I can also try to grow some at home! Next time when I go to the market, I just need to buy a thick stem or two and then I can pop them into a glass bottle and grow my very own Thai lemon basil! I consider myself as having green fingers, so I will start growing some "Non-exchangeable even with gold" once I get my hands on it.

hybrid -- anything that is a mixture of two very different things
mutated -- changed from one thing or type of thing into another
boo -- (sound word) to make an expression of strong disapproval or disagreement
distinctive -- Something that is distinctive is easy to recognize because it is different from other things
harvest -- to pick and collect crops, or to collect plants, animals or fish to eat
propagation -- [I or T] to produce a new plant from a parent plant
vigorous -- healthy and strong
transplant -- [C or U] when something is transplanted, especially an operation in which a new organ is put into someone's body, here refers to moving the plant to another place to grow
green fingers/thumb -- the ability to make plants grow
lay/get your hands on sth -- to succeed in obtaining sth