Basil, Siam Queen (Ocimum basilicum) is a specific cultivar of basil that is highly prized for its strong aroma and distinct flavor. It is a popular herb used in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisines. Siam Queen basil has large, glossy, and serrated leaves that are bright green in color. The leaves are elongated and have a slightly purple hue on the undersides. The plant grows to a height of about 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) and has an upright, bushy form.
Flavor: Siam Queen basil has a robust, licorice-like flavor with strong notes of anise and mint. Its taste is more intense compared to other basil varieties, making it a sought-after herb for authentic Thai dishes.
Culinary Uses: Siam Queen basil is a staple ingredient in Thai cuisine, particularly in dishes like curries, stir-fries, soups, and salads. It pairs well with spicy, savory, and citrusy flavors. The leaves are typically added to dishes towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavor and fragrance. They can also be used as a fresh garnish.
Medicinal and Health Benefits: Like other basil varieties, Siam Queen basil contains essential oils, antioxidants, and nutrients that may offer potential health benefits. Basil has been used in traditional medicine for its potential antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and digestive properties. Siam Queen basil is a source of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as minerals like calcium and iron.
Growing Conditions: Siam Queen basil thrives in warm and tropical climates. It prefers well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and regular watering. It can be grown from seeds or propagated from cuttings. Siam Queen basil is commonly cultivated in home gardens, herb planters, and greenhouse settings.
Ornamental Use: In addition to its culinary uses, Siam Queen basil is often grown for its ornamental value. The plant's lush foliage and vibrant green color make it an attractive addition to herb gardens, container plantings, and flower beds.
Siam Queen basil's intense flavor and aroma, reminiscent of authentic Thai cuisine, make it a sought-after herb for those who want to recreate traditional Southeast Asian dishes. Whether used in curries, stir-fries, or salads, Siam Queen basil adds a distinct and vibrant element to culinary creations.