Pantry Basics: Thai basil laksa leaf pesto



I make this Thai basil laksa leaf pesto in large batches when we have to prune our Thai basil and laksa leaf (Vietnamese mint) plants. It doesn’t contain any cheese, but the fish sauce (I like Red Boat) provides the umami kick that you’d otherwise get from the parmesan in a traditional pesto. I store some in the fridge and freeze the rest so that there’s always some close at hand.

For very little effort, this simple Thai basil laksa leaf pesto adds an instant party of flavours to pastas and noodles, stir-fries (prawns, squid, fish or beef), and sandwiches. It’s great slathered over barbecued meat or seafood. And I wouldn’t be averse to the idea of having it with a nice hunk of steak served Japanese-style, in bite-sized pieces, either. Even though the recipe calls for significantly less laksa leaf than Thai basil, the distinct flavour of laksa leaf is quite prominent. When the occasion calls for it, I add some chilli and ginger sambal or sriracha to give it a more assertive heat.

If you’re looking for a more classic pesto recipe, check out Dawn’s cashew nut pesto here.

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her three kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.