Shiso Perilla Herbs used in Japanese Cuisine

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The Japanese herb shiso, also known as perilla frutescens, is sometimes referred to as beefsteak plant, Chinese basil, or purple mint.  At Wasabi Crop, alongside wasabi rhizomes and wasabi leaves, we offer both Green Perilla (Perilla frutescens var. crispa) and Red Perilla (Perilla frutescens).

Shiso Perilla is a great plant to grow in your herb garden, especially its ruffled, green leaves. The Shiso green Perilla is widely used in cooking and belongs to the mint family. However, the taste is hard to describe. It resembles a fusion of coriander, basil, cinnamon, anise, and a hint of citrus. It’s a unique taste, and you will get addicted to this beautiful herb. These shiso leaves can be used fresh in salads to provide a sweet aftertaste or an unusual garnish.

Shiso Perilla is Rich in Nutrients and Culinary Possibilities

Perilla is known as Shiso in Japanese and kkaennip or ggaenip in Korean. It is a herb used in many recipes, including beverages such as the traditional Cuban highball and mojitos. Shiso Perilla juice is a great way to incorporate it into a daily diet or health regimen.

Also, shiso perilla is rich in nutrients and contains vitamin C, which supports vision and cardiovascular health. In addition, it provides a source of calcium, potassium, iron, vitamins A and B2 (riboflavin).

NOTE:  Shiso leaves are toxic to cows, dogs and other livestock.

However, the perilla red and purple forms are used in pickling to give your Japanese sour plum pickle a violet tinge. Even more interesting, the baby leaves make a superb garnish.

What is a Shiso Perrilla Herb?

Shiso is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and there are two types: Aojiso (the green Perilla) and Akajiso (the red Perilla). The natural oil from the perilla mint has been an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

The Shiso herb is used in Japanese cooking, and its botanical name is Perilla frutescens var. crispa.

There are two types of Shiso green and red plants.

Red Shiso is mainly used to make umeboshi pickled plums and other types of pickles. However, red Shiso can not be consumed raw because it is too bitter and must be salted and blanched.

A vibrant bunch of red shiso perilla herbs with distinct, ruffled leaves, commonly used in Japanese pickling and cuisine for its unique flavor and nutritional benefits.
Vibrant red shiso perilla leaves add a burst of colour and unique flavours to traditional Japanese pickles and dishes

Green Shiso can be used as a garnish or as an onigiri wrap.  It can also be shredded, and extra seasoning can be added to your cold noodles or tofu. It makes a great addition to your fresh salads.  The Shiso has a slightly minty taste and makes an excellent pesto.  Furthermore, the sprouts (seedlings) can be used as a garnish on salads, cold tofu, or any cuisine.  The shiso plant has a characteristic square, free-branched stems.  These leafy stems from shiso perilla make refreshing teas, tasty soups, and salads common in sushi dishes. The Shiso herb is an aromatic garden plant that will produce a fantastic minty scent in your back garden.

A lush cluster of green shiso perilla leaves, known for their unique blend of flavors, used in salads, garnishes, and traditional Japanese cuisine.
Green shiso perilla leaves: A fresh, aromatic addition to salads and Japanese dishes, known for their minty, complex flavour profile

Complementing Shiso Perilla with Wasabi Leaf

With its robust and slightly spicy flavour, Wasabi leaf offers a unique complement to the nuanced tastes of Shiso Perilla herbs. Shiso, known for its distinctively aromatic leaves that range from minty to slightly basil-like, pairs wonderfully with the piquant notes of wasabi leaf. This combination enhances culinary creations by adding depth and a refreshing zest. Wasabi leaves can be finely chopped and sprinkled over Shiso-topped dishes or mixed into salads where Shiso is a component, lending a subtle heat that accentuates the herb’s cooler tones. This fusion broadens the flavour palette and introduces a visually appealing contrast, making dishes both vibrant and flavourful.

Why not try some fresh wasabi leaves and stems?

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