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Red Shiso (Perilla Frutescens)

  • Posted on February 22, 2012 at 6:00 am
Red Shiso

Red Shiso

I’ve found a new herb that I love…. Shiso!  Shiso can be red or green (I need to start some green for a taste test and I’ve also found a variety that is a green leaf with a red underside), but the red has a slight anise flavor and they say it’s a bit less spicy than the green, which tastes more like cinnamon.  The leaves are rich in iron and calcium but are used for seasoning, coloring, pickling and garnishing. Shiso leaves can be used whole or cut into strips. Use the flower buds by collecting the seeds at the end of the season to sprinkle on salad and rice. The Japanese, in particular, use the red variety to color umeboshi and pickled ginger. Perilla seeds form an essential part of the famous seven spices of Japan, which originated more than 300 years ago in Kyoto. Green perilla leaves are often wrapped around sushi or served with “sashimi” as a garnish. They also are added to soups, tempura or dried and sprinkled over rice. Japanese chefs add red perilla to tofu or bean curd dishes or use it wrapped around pieces of meat.

Have you got a recipe using Shiso?  If so, please share it with me.

Hugs, Ellen


By the way – do you have a favorite herb?  If so, what is it?