Basil in Vietnamese Cuisine
Húng quế (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) is a type of cinamon basil native to Southeast Asia, often translated as Thai basil but infact, it’s just one of three Thai basil types. In Vietnamese, it may also have some other names like rau quế, é quế, húng dổi, húng chó, húng lợn. Vietnamese cinnamon basil has milder flavor than European cinnamon, and has some light cinnamon aroma. This herb is used as an ingredients in blood sausages, “tiết canh” raw blood pudding, boiled duck meat, bún chả, bún bò Huế, phở (Southern style), and salads.
Húng lủi (Mentha crispa L), is spearmint in English. In Vietnamese, it may have some other names like húng nhủi, húng lũi, húng dũi, húng láng or bạc hà. Spearmint is mainly used in “tiết canh” raw blood pudding, and cocktails.
Húng chanh (Plectranthus amboinicus) or lemon basil has its name because its leaves have a flavor like lemon or lime.