Thai basil is a type of basil native to Southeast Asia that has been cultivated to provide distinctive traits. Widely used throughout Southeast Asia, its flavor, described as anise- and licorice-like and slightly spicy, is more stable under high or extended cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil. Thai basil has small, narrow leaves, purple stems, and pink-purple flowers.
Thai basil leaves are a frequent ingredient in Thai green and red curries, though in Thailand the basil used in drunken noodles and many chicken, pork, and seafood dishes is holy basil.
Thai basil is also an important ingredient in the very popular Taiwanese dish sanbeiji (three-cup chicken). Used as a condiment, a plate of raw Thai basil leaves is often served as an accompaniment to many Vietnamese dishes, such as phở.
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