Aromatic basil, sometimes called Italian basil, is fundamental to Mediterranean cooking. But on the other side of the world, in Thailand, another basil variety is equally essential. For a more authentic version of this dish, seek out Thai basil, which has smaller, narrower leaves than the common Italian variety, a reddish purple cast and a more pronounced anise flavor. Look for it in Southeast Asian stores or at farmers' markets, or plant seeds outdoors in pots or beds for easy harvests.
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