This Thai Basil pesto with cashews brings a fresh burst of Asian flavour to stir fries, noodles, chicken and salmon.
What is Thai Basil
Thai basil is a strong herb, aniseedy and peppery and popular throughout Southeast Asia. I have found it to be an easy herb to grow – in Sydney anyway! So I am currently developing recipes to use up an abundance of Thai basil – like these vegan Thai basil lettuce cups.
Why we love this pesto recipe
- Quick and easy to make.
- Adds a lovely burst of flavour to dishes.
- A great simple recipe for using up Thai Basil.
- It’s a vegan pesto
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Thai Basil – This pungent, slightly spicy aniseedy basil is used extensively over Southeast Asia. if you can’t get Thai Basil, substitute Italian basil and add a couple of mint leaves and sprig of fresh dill.
- Cashew nuts – you can substitute peanuts for a Thai flavour. If you want a nut free Thai pesto then use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Fresh Lemon Juice – Adds a fresh acidity. Substitute with a little rice wine vinegar.
- Soy Sauce – provides a saltiness that parmesan would bring to a traditional Italian pesto.
How to use Thai basil pesto
- Noodles – stir through hot boiled noodles and enjoy simply, as is, or add cooked prawns/shrimp or salmon.
- Use with grilled chicken.
- Spoon on top of corn fritters
- Stir through soup
- As a toast, bruschetta or crostini topping, delicious with sliced fresh peaches and mozzarella, or with fresh tomatoes (as pictured below).
As well as making Thai Basil pesto, you can add it to Asian or Indian dishes.
Yes you can. It won’t provide the same amount of flavour, so add a few leaves of mint or dill.
Yes you can. The best way to freeze it is to place into ice cube trays and freeze, then you can remove one or two cubes as needed, keeping the rest frozen.
- Fridge – This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. To prevent air from getting to the pesto – which can turn it brown – smooth the surface of the pesto and cover with a drizzle of olive oil to stop the air from getting to it.
- Freezer – Place in ice cube trays and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
More Asian inspired vegan recipes for you
Thai Basil Pesto
- ½ c (70g) Cashew Nuts
- 2 large handfuls Thai Basil Leaves
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Juice of ½ a Lemon
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- Toast the cashew nuts in a dry non-stick pan until starting to turn golden brown.
- Tip out onto a plate and leave to cool.
- Once cool, tip the cashews into a small blender with the Thai basil, olive oil, lemon juice and soy sauce.
- Blend until desired consistency. I like my pesto quite chunky.
- Check and add more lemon juice or soy sauce as required.
- Use straight away, or cover well and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.