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thai basil in khmer cuisine

Thai basil, also known as Asian basil, plays a vital role in Khmer cuisine. Its strong, spicy and slightly aniseed aroma adds a distinctive touch to many traditional Cambodian dishes, giving them a unique and authentic flavor.
Thai basil is used fresh in many Khmer dishes to enhance flavors and provide aromatic freshness. Its dark green to purple leaves are picked and added to soups, stir-fries, curries and salads. They bring a herbaceous and fragrant dimension that blends perfectly with the other ingredients.
One of the most popular uses of Thai basil in Khmer cuisine is in the famous “amok”, an iconic Cambodian dish. Amok is a fish or chicken curry steamed in banana leaves. Thai basil is finely chopped and mixed into the curry paste, which gives the dish its distinctive flavor.
Thai basil is also used in Cambodian salads, such as “nom banh chok”. Fresh basil leaves are tossed with aromatic herbs, crunchy vegetables and a tangy dressing to create a light and flavorful salad. Its slightly aniseed flavor perfectly complements the other ingredients and adds a note of freshness.
Additionally, Thai basil is often used as a garnish for Cambodian dishes. Its leaves are chopped and sprinkled on dishes to add a touch of color and an explosion of flavors. Whether for stir-fried noodles, stews or meatballs, Thai basil adds a touch of freshness and flavor that delights the taste buds.
In short, Thai basil is an essential ingredient in Khmer cuisine. Its unique flavor and intense aromas add depth to traditional Cambodian dishes, giving them a culinary identity specific to the region. If you have the chance to taste Khmer dishes, you will certainly discover Thai basil and its central role in this refined and delicious cuisine.


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