Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crispy Basil Leaves & Marinade for Tofu or Chicken

Basil crispy

My CSA box came with a glimpse of summer a few weeks ago: a small bag of beautiful basil leaves.  It was a bit unexpected, and I was at a loss for a clever way to prepare the beautiful leaves.  Pesto seemed too obvious and my husband vetoed that idea.  He suggested a Thai basil dish--something I had never made at home before.  I started to do some research and decided to crisp half the leaves in an oven instead of frying them.  I decided to use the remaining basil for a lovely Asian style marinade.

The recipe below was excellent with tofu but would work as well on bite size pieces of chicken.  If you are gluten free or wheat free, please be aware that soy sauce is a common source of hidden wheat. 

By the way if you are looking for an excellent CSA in the Seattle area: Jubilee Farm is a great one to support.   I am as hooked on the fresh produce they send me as I am on farmer Erick's weekly newsletter which is included in every box.  They've started their own blog as well: The Growing Revolution .

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basil-crispy tofu with rice

Crispy Basil Leaves
Wait until serving time to add the crispy leaves to your dish to retain the contrast in texture between the leaves in the marinade and the ones you've crisped.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Oil two cookie sheets.
  • Coat basil leaves with vegetable oil of your choice and lay flat onto the cookie sheets.
  • Sprinkle sea salt on top.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes or until crisp.  Remove and let cool.
  • Reserve to top your cooked marinated chicken or tofu.

Basil Asian Marinade for Tofu or Chicken
This recipe will make enough marinade for 1 lb of firm tofu, or bite size pieces of chicken tenders.

1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp GF soy sauce 
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp of brown sugar, or maple syrup

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large dish. 
  • Add your protein of choice and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  You can leave it marinating all day or overnight for convenience.
  Print this recipe


Mary Ann said...

This looks like a lovely way to use basil. I planted my basil a couple of weeks ago and so far it is going really great- I've been able to use it a bunch.
Sorry I don't get over here to comment as much as I should. I love your blog.

I am making the spaghetti squash quinoa bake right now and every time I make it I think if you. I love it. I have passed it on to many people who love it too.
Great recipe. Thanks again, Alexa.

Nicisme said...

Thanks so much for the instruction on how to get crispy basil leaves by baking them, I tried frying them once and it was a disaster - I got covered in hot oil. Great pics!

Jessica said...

Love the way you used the basil. It's amazing that a "leaf" can pack such delicious flavor in foods.

Veggie Belly said...

Oh oh, that crispy basil makes me swoon! I've bookmarked this marinade to try with tofu, looks sooooo good.

Sean said...

Hey I just discovered this blow. Real good info here :) I was wondering if you have any yummy eggplant recipes? Thanks a lot.

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raquel said...

just wanted to know if the instruction on crispy basil leave can also do for other leaves?

Alexa said...

Hello Raquel,
I would think so. The cooking time might vary according the thickness of the leave and the water content. I would recommend keeping a close eye on it.

Anonymous said...

Your Artsy-Foodie blog is really great. Thanks for sharing all these health conscience recipes. I have added this website to my personal list of links. Cheers~

Lee Shin said...
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