Thai Basil Pesto with Shrimp and Fish

We planted Thai Basil in our herb garden this year for the first time.  When we came home from vacation a few days ago, we noticed that it had exploded.  Mmmm…basil.  We also have the standard Italian basil in the garden which we plan to make pesto with, so we said to ourselves, why not make pesto with the Thai Basil too?  All credit for this yummy dish goes to the Hubby who did a little perusing of our cookbook collection and made something up.

Thai Basil Pesto with Grilled Shrimp and Fish


3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
Juice of 3 limes
Hot Peppers (see note)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 in. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 T. fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. sugar
2 cups Thai Basil leaves
1 cup mint leaves

Additional Ingredients:

1 package of buckwheat noodles (Soba)
1 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail removed
1 fish filet (we used haddock, about 3/4 pound)
Some vegetables to add to stir fry (we used leftovers in the fridge – snap peas and cauliflower)
Olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Prepare the pesto sauce.  You really need a big food processor for this.  I suppose you could also use a blender (if your blender is more powerful than mine, LOL!).  Process all the ingredients for the pesto except for the Thai Basil leaves and mint leaves.  It will be pretty liquidy.  Add the basil and mint leaves and process (pulse in 1-second bursts) just a bit until it comes together.  You don’t want to heat/cook the basil because it will turn brown.

2. Boil the Soba according to package directions.

3. Start stir frying your vegetables in some olive oil.  We use our 12-inch cast iron skillet for stir frying because it has more surface area than our wok.  We used whatever we had handy in the refrigerator which was some leftover cauliflower (cut small) and some snap peas from our garden.

4. Meanwhile, drizzle fish and shrimp with olive oil and salt/pepper, and grill.  We used a grill basket on our charcoal grill.  It doesn’t need very long to cook, about 3 minutes per side for the fish and 3-5 minutes for the shrimp.

5. When the vegetables are ready, add in the cooked noodles, mix around, and add one cup of the pesto sauce.  Add more if necessary.

6. Turn out onto a serving platter, add the shrimp and fish on top, and drizzle with more pesto.

We had enough pesto leftover to make another smaller dish.  (It’s still in my fridge.)

NOTE: For the peppers.  You are going to have to use as many peppers as you prefer from a heat standpoint.  We happened to use 2 jalapenos and 1 serrano pepper because that is what we had.  We did not use the seeds or ribs.  It could have been a bit more spicy for us, so next time we will keep the ribs of the jalapeno and see how we like that.  It’s very much a personal preference thing.

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