Organic Thai Basil Fresh From The Garden Live Plant Thai basil is widely used in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, including Thai, Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian cuisines. Thai basil leaves are a frequent ingredient in Thai green and red curries, though in Thailand the basil used in drunken noodles and many chicken, pork, and seafood dishes is holy basil.:178 In the West, however, such dishes typically contain Thai basil instead, which is much more readily available than holy basil. Thai basil is also an important ingredient in the very popular Taiwanese dish sanbeiji (three-cup chicken). Used as a condiment, a plate of raw Thai basil leaves is often served as an accompaniment to many Vietnamese dishes, such as phở, bún bò Huế, or bánh xèo, so that each person can season to taste with the anise-flavored leaves. Thai basil is sturdy and compact, growing up to 45 cm (1.48 ft), and has shiny green, slightly serrated, narrow leaves with a sweet, anise-like scent and hints of licorice, along with a slight spiciness lacking in sweet basil. Thai basil has a purple stem, and like other plants in the mint family, the stem is square. Its leaves are opposite and decussate. As implied by its scientific name, Thai basil flowers in the form of a thyrse. The inflorescence is purple, and the flowers when open are pink. Thai basil prefers soil that is lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained and rich in organic matter, such as compost. It thrives in full sun but will tolerate part shade.