This flavorful & fresh Thai basil pesto is a great condiment to have on hand. Easy to make & happens to be vegan too !
Whether if you are a fan of pesto or not, you definitely have to give this Thai basil pesto a try ! It is packed full of Asian flavors, and is a super versatile condiment to have on hand. Plus, it is quick to make and is ready in 5 minutes.
🌿What is Thai basil
Originated from Southeast Asia, Thai basil is a close relative to the classic sweet basil, but has a much bolder flavor. Its taste can be describe as pungent, spicy and licorice-like. Unlike sweet basil, they have thin, pointed leaves and a dark purple stem.
Thai basil are commonly used in Asian cuisines, and can be added to anything from curries and stews to stir-fries.
🧄What you will need
📓Notes / Substitutions
- To make this oil-free, substitute sesame oil with 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds instead. You might need to add some water to thin the mixture.
- Peanut can be substituted with cashews or even pine nuts.
- Make this gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
- Although I am using Calamansi ( Philippine's lime ) , other kinds of lime will work too. You can even use lemon juice in place.
🔪How to make
Simply place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth, or until desired texture is achieved. You might need to stop the food processor and scrap down the sides halfway through. Give it a taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.
Serve immediately with pasta, or transfer it to a glass jar / sealed container for later use.
🍝How to use
- The classic ( and best, in my opinion ) way to enjoy this Thai basil pesto is to serve them over some cooked pasta, be it spaghetti, linguine or even macaroni !
- Embrace its Asian-ness by pairing it with some Asian noodles such as rice vermicelli, soba or wheat noodles.
- Spread it on bread and top it off with some curry tofu scramble or silken tofu scramble for a filling, balanced breakfast.
- You can also use it as a dip for your veggies by mixing it with some vegan yogurt or mayonnaise.
- Mix them with some olive oil and you can now use it as a salad dressing !
- It is also great as a " healthier " pizza topping.
❔Commonly Asked Questions
This vegan basil pesto is naturally gluten-free as all ingredients used are free from gluten. Just be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce or substitute it with tamari.
Store Thai basil pesto in a glass jar or in sealed container for up to a week.
It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, transfer pesto to an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until frozen. You can then transfer them into zip top or freezer bags and store them in freezer until you are ready to enjoy them !
To reheat, let them thaw either overnight in the fridge, or on countertop for a few hours. Give it a good stir before tossing them into cooked pasta.
Regular basil can definitely be used in place of Thai basil, but you will need about one and a half times more than what the recipe calls for. This is because regular ones are much more milder in flavor. You could also throw in some mint leaves and cilantro to give the pesto an extra punch that regular basil lacks.
Thai basil can be found in most well-stocked groceries or your local farmer's market. You can also find them in Asian markets.
Some online retailers like Amazon also carries them too !
🍽More Asian-inspired vegan recipes
- Tom Yum Fried Rice
- Easy Vegan Dumplings
- Tofu Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
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Quick and Easy Thai Basil Pesto
- Simply place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth, or until desired texture is achieved. You might need to stop the food processor and scrap down the sides halfway through. Give it a taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.
- Serve immediately with pasta, or transfer it to a glass jar / sealed container for later use.