Thai basil pesto recipe is a delightful fusion of Asian and Italian cuisine, bringing together the best of both worlds in a single aromatic sauce. This recipe is easy-to-make at home with a blend of roasted peanuts, oyster sauce, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and more. Whip up a batch and enjoy the authentic flavors of Thailand in no time!
I'm always in the mood for good fusion food, and this Asian twist on the traditional Italian pesto is as delicious as it is healthy.
This fragrant pesto sauce is made with peppery, anise-like fresh Thai basil leaves as the key ingredient. You might remember this herb from my green curry recipe. It's a staple in Southeast Asian cooking, and Thai food wouldn't be complete without it.
In Chinese and Thai cooking, oyster sauce is a staple for its umami flavor. In this recipe, it adds richness and umami that perfectly complements the delightful crunchy roasted peanuts.
Salt, garlic, and lime are added to the mix for extra flavor, while fresh green chili peppers can't miss for a subtle hint of spice.
A smooth blend of olive oil and sesame oil helps to bind the flavors together, and to top it off, we'll add some delicious Italian Parmesan cheese.
This Asian inspired pesto recipe is made with Thai basil, which has unique flavors and aromas.
Thai basil leaves are easy to recognize. They're small and narrow, pointy, and have a rich green color.
The stems are purple and when you walk by them, you're treated with a pleasant, fresh smell. When you pluck the leaves, a fresh aroma with a subtle hint of anise fills the air.
Sweet basil or Italian basil is widely used in Italian cooking, especially in pasta sauces, Caprese salad, and Italian pesto. The leaves are larger and more rounded, with a bright green color. Their fresh, sweet, and slightly minty flavor makes them a beloved ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine.
Using Thai basil in a pesto gives it a unique and delicious twist compared to the traditional versions.
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Cook pasta, noodles, grilled chicken, shrimp, or any main dish you fancy and spoon a generous amount of the Thai basil pesto on top of it. If you like, garnish with more Thai basil / peanuts or cashews / cheese / lime juice.
Any pesto is best kept in an airtight container or mason jar. Make sure the lid is tightly sealed. Store it in your fridge for up to 7 days.
To freeze: You can make a large batch at once and store the rest for later. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 4 months.
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This recipe comes together quickly with a food processor, or you can use a mortar and pestle to experience a taste of traditional Thai cuisine.
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend (pulse) until a smooth pesto consistency forms. If needed, add an extra splash of olive oil to make the blending go smoother near the end.
Serve immediately as an accompaniment with your favorite food.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.