Asian Herbs Category

Asian Herbs
anise basil, bai horapha, húng qu?, licorice basil, Thai basil
anise basil
This is used in Southeast Asia.
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bai-toey, bai toey, bai touy
This name is also used for screwpine leaves. Bai-toey leaves are about four inches in diameter, and smell a bit like a dentist's office. Look for them in Southeast Asian markets.
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betel leaf, pupulu
betel leaf
The Vietnamese wrap beef in these leaves, while others chew them like gum.
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chile leaf, chili leaf, chilli leaf, la ot, rau ot
chile leaf
This herb isn't nearly as hot as the chile that comes from the same plant. It's sometimes used as a cooking green in Southeast Asia.
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Chinese chives, Chinese leek, garlic chives, gow choy, ku chai, Oriental garlic
Chinese chives
Unlike regular chives, these have flat leaves and a distinct garlicky flavor.
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flowering chives, flowering Chinese chives, flowering garlic chives
flowering chives
These come from the same plant as Chinese chives. They're usually marketed and cooked before the buds open.
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holy basil, bai gaprao, bai kaprao, bai kaprow, bai kraprao, kaphrao
holy basil
This has jagged leaves. It's fairly pungent, so it's rarely eaten raw.
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kaffir lime leaf, bai makrut, daun jeruk purut, daun limau purut
kaffir lime leaf
A kaffir lime leaf look as if two glossy, dark green leaves were joined together end to end, forming a figure-eight pattern. Most Thai recipes count each double leaf as two separate leaves. Frozen kaffir lime leaves are a good substitute for fresh. Dried leaves are much less flavorful, so use twice as many as the recipe calls for if you're substituting them for fresh leaves.
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la-lot leaf, la lot leaf, pepper leaf, wild betel
la-lot leaf
These are used as meat wrappers in Vietnam.
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laksa leaf, daun kesom, laksa leaf, praew leaf, rau ram, Vietnamese cilantro
laksa leaf
Vietnamese sprinkle this herb on their laksa soups. It has a strong, minty, peppery flavor. It's sold in bunches with lots of pointy leaves on each stem.
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lemon basil, bai maengluk, bai manglak, hoary basil, kemangi, Lao basil
lemon basil
This has a lemony flavor, and small, pointed, fuzzy leaves. Thai cooks toss it into soups, salads, and noodle dishes.
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lemongrass, barbed wire grass, citronella, Cochin grass, fever grass
Thai cooks use these grayish green stalks to impart a lemony flavor to their dishes. Remove the outer leaves, then use about six inches of the base, discarding the top and the very bottom. It's best to cut lemongrass into large pieces that can be easily removed after the dish is cooked. Frozen lemongrass is a good substitute for fresh, but dried lemongrass (soaked in hot water) is only a fair substitute. Use powdered version (called sereh powder) only in a pinch.
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mitsuba, East Asian wildparsley, honewort, Japanese honewort, san ye qin
The Japanese use this to flavor soups and salads.
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rice paddy herb, ngo om
rice paddy herb
Vietnamese and Thai cooks use this herb in soups and curry dishes.
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screw pine leaf, bai toey, bai touy, daun pandan, kewra, pandan leaf
screwpine leaf
These sword-shaped leaves are about two feet long. Look for plastic bags of folded leaves among the frozen foods in Asian markets.
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sesame leaf
sesame leaf
This comes from the same plant that gives us sesame seeds. Koreans use them to wrap packets of meat or as a fresh herb.
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shiso, beefsteak plant, perilla
The Japanese mostly use this pungent herb to flavor pickled plums. It comes in two colors: red and green.
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sweet Asian basil, bai horapa, bai horapha, sweet basil
sweet Asian basil
This has a pleasant anise flavor, and is the most commonly used basil in Thailand.
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Thai basil, licorice basil
Thai basil
Thai basil has purple stems and flowers. It has a milder flavor than holy basil.
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tia to, Korean perilla, perilla, tia tô
tia to
These leaves are purple on one side and green on the other. They have a pleasant, peppery flavor that tastes a bit like cinnamon. Vietnamese cooks often add them to soups at the last minute.
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yellow Chinese chives, yellow chives, yellow garlic chives
yellow Chinese chives
These are Chinese chives that have been shielded from the sun in order to stifle the production of chlorophyll. Use them just like ordinary Chinese chives.
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