Thai Basil Pesto

Thai Basil Pesto

When I worked in Boston, my coworkers and I frequented a super delicious Thai restaurant called Thai Basil. My favorite thing to get was the Thai Basil Salad, which was a huge fresh salad topped with tons of shrimp and chicken and these curious pointy-looking basil leaves that had a little more bite to them than your typical basil.

I still dream about that salad once in a while.

When I was planting my garden, of course basil was one thing that was definitely going in. But while shopping for regular, Italian sweet basil, I stumbled upon seeds for Thai basil! Thai basil has that basil-y taste, but is a little more anise-y/licorice-y. It’s different and just… really good.

Turns out it grows really well, too! While my regular basil was looking scraggly and yellowed, my Thai basil was OUT. OF. CONTROL.

Thai Basil

So I had to make something with it! Too much basil = pesto, naturally. But Thai basil? How about pesto with Thai flavors like peanuts and lime? Heck, yes!

Thai Basil Pesto

Thai Basil Pesto

(adapted from Lucy’s Corner)

  •  2 cups packed Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1-2 jalapenos, halved
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Place basil, peanuts, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice and jalapenos in a food processor. Pulse a few times to roughly chop. Turn the food processor on and, while it’s running, drizzle in olive oil. Process until smooth.

ThaiBasilPesto2   ThaiBasilPesto3

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Thai Basil Pesto

I tossed some soba noodles, shrimp and red pepper strips with the pesto, then topped it all with crushed peanuts. It was super yummy. I’m thinking of using some of the leftover pesto in fresh spring rolls!

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  1. Sally says

    This turned out amazing! I swapped out some roasted red chili paste for the jalapenos. I could not stop licking the spoon while putting it in the container. Thank you.

  2. John fox says

    I was skeptical but this is really good! Super flavorful. Didn’t need extra salt after the fish sauce and I swapped 2 Thai peppers for the 2 jalenpenos.


  1. […] We made a Thai Basil Pesto in order to use up our Thai Basil as well as a Thai dressing.  Both these ingredients really upped the WOW factor on our Thai Black Rice Bowls.  While the rice was soaking, I prepared the pesto, vinaigrette and chopped my vegetables and poached my chicken.  I slightly altered this pesto recipe from Flying on Jess Fuel.   […]

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