While shopping at an Asian market last week, I found three kinds of basil. So I rounded up a friendly produce clerk and asked about the differences. That’s how I ended up using red (Thai) basil in this main-course noodle salad.
It uses leftover teriyaki chicken. The night before, grill the chicken (using your favorite teriyaki marinade), and make three or four extra breasts so you’ll have leftovers.
In the salad, plump udon noodles soak up the dressing, and the chicken is enlivened with fresh ginger root, basil and green onions. Regular basil will do, but it’s worth asking some questions to enjoy the subtle pleasures of Thai basil, with its green leaves and beautiful red stems.
Morgan is author of “Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals,” (Chronicle Books).