Many chefs or those who love to cook would appreciate the use of natural herbs. The use of lemon basil is famous in many different cuisines such as food from Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Middle East. Lemon basil is a hybrid of the normal basil with the African basil that is mostly grown in the northeastern Africa and southern Asia. Many recognize this herb because of the natural tangy lemon scent of the herbs. It is mainly used for cooking especially for exotic and local dishes. The lemon basil appears almost like the normal basil but its leaves are a lot narrower.
Caring for the lemon basil is almost the same as caring for other herbs especially the basil variety. It needs a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. Although it can grow naturally with just water and sunlight but without fertilizers, chemicals or organic substances, it might not be as flavorful. The flavor would be at risk too if the plant is left to grow till the flowers sprouts. It takes only weeks for this herb to grow and it should be watered when the surface of the soil appears dry. Sowing the lemon basil should be taken place after 2 weeks it has grown.
There are no limits in using lemon basil for cooking. Many would prefer to use lemon basil when cooking seafood to kill off the smell of the seafood. However, many would use lemon basil to cook any dish that leaves long lasting aroma. In Laos, the locals would use lemon basil for curry, stews and stir-fried dishes but in Indonesia, the lemon basil is eaten raw and fresh and used mainly for soups and salads. Sometimes they are also used for garnish. Arabian cuisines such as hummus use lemon basil to increase its already exotic scent. Thai cuisine like tom yam uses lemon basil as well to increase the aroma and the taste.
In modern times, many are using the lemon basil for salads and dips. Since lemon basil are capable to be used for any dishes, when used in dips especially cheese dips the taste brings more color and fun. Italians agree that lemon basil makes pasta tastes better especially the creamy and cheesy pasta. In America, many locals famously uses the lemon basil for potato salad and roast chicken. Some are even using them for desserts in the likes of tartlets and cheese cakes.
Although lemon basil is hard to find in the western countries, many have tried to grow them in their own home. Since the plant is rather small in size, growing the herb in a normal Mason jar would suffice. In the winter, it is best to leave the flowers to cluster after it has grown more than 2 weeks as because in the winter, the climate would slows the growth of the herb thus if it is sowed too early, the flavor would be at risk. Also, it is best to grow the plant indoors as compared to outdoors during winter.