Deep-Fried Basil Leaves
1 bunch of fresh sweet basil
oil for deep frying
If the leaves are from your own garden or are organically grown and you know they have not been sprayed, there is no need to wash them. If they have been washed, dry them as thoroughly as possible. Strip Leaves from stem.
Heat 2 cups oil in wok until almost smoking and drop in handfuls of leaves so they turn brilliant green and crisp in seconds. Lift onto paper towels with a slotted spoon. Serve quickly, sprinkled over other dishes just before serving so the leaves don't have time to lose their crispness. Or pass a bowl of them around on their own for a new sensation in flavor and texture.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)