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White Thai basil leaves are small to medium in size, averaging 5-8 centimeters in length, and have an ovate shape with jagged edges. The leaves are light green with small hairs, and there is a prominent central vein that branches into smaller veins across the surface. The stems are semi-thick, fibrous, and pale green to purple, and spikes of lavender and white flowers appear when the plant matures, growing at the top of the stems. White Thai basil is delicate and extremely fragrant with a camphor-like aroma combined with a hint of clove and allspice, and the leaves carry a minty flavor mixed with a zesty, peppery bite.
White Thai basil greens are best suited for both raw and cooked applications. Predominately used in Thai cuisine. To use White Thai basil, first separate the leaves from the stems and twigs, as the dish will take on a woody flavor if these are used. White Thai basil leaves are then added at the end of the cooking process to preserve their delicate nature and flavor. White Thai basil greens pair well with ginger, garlic, onions, fish sauce, soy sauce, fresh chiles, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, snap peas, meats, and seafood such as fish, shrimp, and scallops.
They will keep up to a week when wrapped in paper towels, sealed in an airtight bag, and stored in the upper portion of the refrigerator. White Thai basil can also be stored at room temperature on the counter in water for 1-2 days.
Thai Basil Chicken
3 to 4 tablespoons oil
5 cloves garlic
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 bunch Thai basil leaves