We bought some Holy basil (aka Thai Basil) seeds and, am delighted to report, have ended up with two magnificent plants. The leaves are large and have a distinct aniseed flavour – something you either love or hate, rather like Marmite. Keen to use these wonderfully fragrant leaves in a recipe, I came up with this:
SEA BASS WITH HOLY BASIL NOODLES
SERVES 2, VERY QUICK, HEALTHY
Large handful of holy basil leaves
2 sea bass fillets
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, juice only
Red chilli, seeds removed
Buckwheat soba noodles, 125g
Olive oil, drizzle
In a blender, whizz up the basil leaves, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice and red chilli to form a dressing.
Put the noodles into a bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Leave for 5 minutes. (But not more as I stupidly did, as they taste better if they are not soggy!)
Add the oil to a hot frying pan and put in the fish skin side down. Leave until skin is crispy (about 2 – 3 mins) and turn over. Switch off heat keeping the fish in the pan to finish cooking. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Drain the noodles, stir in the basil dressing and plop onto two plates. Gently lift up the fillets and put on the noodles. Serve immediately (unless you like lukewarm food!).