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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Basil Seed Drink

While I'm on the subject of cooling drinks, basil seeds are reputed to treat constipation, diabetes, and indigestion. I just like the way the seeds are sort of slippery in my mouth. :P

Anyway, since Henry Chan's Food Videos had asked about them after seeing this picture of Indian falooda with basil seeds, and since this mini-post will allow me to get caught up that much sooner...I thought I'd share in case other people didn't know about basil seeds either.

This can was 69 cents at the San Gabriel Superstore. I have no idea what sterchlia is. Anyone? The Vietnamese name doesn't ring a bell either. Are they related to semen seeds? No, not that kind! The tea kind! Hehe. ;)

The seeds look like they have a fuzzy outer layer, but they're actually a bit slippery. They're pretty tasteless to me, but the texture is sort of like tomato seeds. I love eating foods with slimy seeds like tomatoes, okra, cucumbers. :P

San Gabriel Superstore

1635 San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776


  1. Hi WC - Once when we were shopping at one of the local Vietnamese Markets, we were checking this out. An older woman told us, "you drink, it's good for you....." which is usually the kiss of death for any food or drink, but you're right, just a bunch of seeds, not too much flavor. But hey.....it is supposed to be good for me, right?

  2. It looks interesting, I've never seen anything like that.

  3. Kirk,
    Hehe, you're right about that. :)

    Learn something new right? :)

  4. I picked up a basil seed drink at the 99 in San Diego a while back - it looks like a science experiment, and doesn't taste half-bad!

  5. i like to make the basil seed drink at home rather then buying it in the can. you can easily adjust what level of sweetness you rather have. and it was fun to watch the seeds get bigger as the hot water hits it when i was younger. but my fave with it is just the grass jelly. yummy!

  6. Vicki,
    Yeah, I don't know if I'd ever have cravings for it, but it is fun sometimes to drink.

    I've never tried it with grass jelly, although it makes sense! Both are cooling right?

  7. Well, I stumbled upon this page because I was actually looking for the word "Sterchlia". I happen to go to my local oriental food store looking for "Bubble Tea" (The big tapioca ball drinks that are becoming the rage all over Asia).

    Because I like to be a bit adventurous at times and try new things, I went through the drinks aisle and found a can of Chin Chin Sterchlia with basil seed drink.

    I mainly got it because it looked weird.

    So, I got home, placed a few iced cubes on a glass and poured it in...

    At the beginning it looked kind of weird, and the only thing it reminded me was of larvae (YUCK!).

    I did the usual sniff test and nothing smelled funky, so I closed my eyes and decided to take a sip.

    The flavor is surprisingly good and not overly sweet. The little seeds remind me of tapioca and the flavor has a hint of banana. (Upon closer inspection of the can I found that indeed the added banana flavor to the drink)

    I would actually go back and buy more of this stuff. I don't know if it is good for me or not, and I have no idea whatsoever what STERCHLIA is, but I know that I found a drink that I like, and that my family won't be drinking it all before I get to it in the fridge!!!


  8. Midnight Cat,
    Way to be adventurous! Actually basil seeds are cooling, hence why they're popular in drinks during the summer. So they are good for you. :)

  9. It's kind of funny but the vietnamese words on the bottle threw me off because they didn't space it correctly. The drink has this dried pod called Luoi Uoi, or on your bottle, "Duoi Uoi" translations always have different spellings don't they? Anyway that pod is dry and the size of a small prune, what they do is soak it in water until it triples or quadruples in size and is a consistency of like a spongey jelly like jellyfish? That's the brown stuff in the juice. It's time consuming because you have to pick apart the skin from the pod and the fibers and what's left is the brownish jellie things. And the Nuoc Hote is actually Nuoc Hot E. There's a space there! Hot E is what they call basil seeds in Vietnamese. These both are very refreshing and cooling. You can make both at home for mere pennies with out the nasty banana flavor.

  10. Thanh,
    Very interesting. I had no idea what that "duoi uoi" was supposed to be at all, but I did know "hot e" was basil seeds. There actually is a space there, probably couldn't tell by the angle of the photo though.

  11. The drink from your picture has sterchilia, basil seed, syrup in it. Sterchilia is a small dry fruit, found in Chinatown grocery shop. You just need to soak it in water, and it will swell. The basil seed also need to be soak for 5 minutes. Start with a quarter teaspoon of dry seed.
    Put both soaked ingredients in water and syrup with some ice, enjoy.
    This is is not suitable for people that has constant diarrhea, cold and chill.
    You can also add banana essence to it too.
    Nancy 2012

  12. Hi. My 2nd favorite drink is sweet basil seed drink. My favorite drink is actually soybean milk. My mom made me some this morning. I mean the sweet basil drink. It's actually quicker and less expensive to make it. Instead of using banana flavoring I used jasmine syrup.I haven't tried sterchlia sweet basil seed. I hope someone doesn't try it just because of its look.

  13. Butterscotch,
    It's yummy. The kind of people who wouldn't try something because of an unfamiliar name aren't the type who would try new foods anyway. I like basil seeds in Vietnamese pudding too.

  14. Basil seeds sound strength to me until I saw the picture here. I grown up in the Far-East and I use to enjoy the drink ink diluted milk sold by the street vender. In Indonesia they call it Bandun, but now aday few will add in the this seed which in childhood we call it FISH EYES. It's interesting.
    Lately, I research on method of dieting and weight lost and I found it helpful. It does help to fight crafting for food due to the high absorbility of water by the seed. Another name in the commercial market is call as CHIA SEED. You can make it a try for those who wanted to die for sliming.

    1. Sorry, allow me for little correction: Basil ( Chia ) seed have no energy lever. It outer coating have extremely high absorbility of water that stay in the stomach which make one feel full and reduce crafting for foods. If u r dieting , this is a alternative way to fight hunger.

  15. Francis,
    The high absorption of water to create a feeling of fullness must be why it's been so popular these days for dieters and health nuts!


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