I got the blueprint of this recipe from a comment in a food blog about using up an abundance of Thai basil. The flavor remind me of the flavors in a green papaya salad: spicy, tangy and salty. I usually toss it with noodles (rice, soba, wheat, etc.), julienned cucumbers, and some grilled meat or fried tofu. If you are not a fan of cilantro, feel free to substitute with parsley or chervil. —HalfPint
thai basil leaves
unsalted roasted peanuts
lemon or lime juice, more to taste
good quality fish sauce or soy sauce
small fresh chili (~1-2 tsp chopped), or to taste
large pinches of sugar
garlic clove, optional
neutral cooking oil
In This Recipe
Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulverize. Use the soy sauce if you want a vegetarian/vegan pesto. Slowly drip in oil until you get a paste. The pesto should be somewhat smooth with no big chunks. Taste and adjust to your preference. I usually like a balance of salty/tart/sweet with a little hit of heat.
Use immediately or freeze for later use.
Delicious as a dressing in a noodle salad bowl or as a condiment for fish, chicken, and meat.