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Shiso

  • k

I've had Hanoi-style bun cha several times recently, and am haunted by the flavor of shiso (aka perilla). Aside from coloring pickled plums, are there any other recipes that showcase this herb?

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  1. I'd be interesed in recipes too. Two of my favorite maki rolls are ume shiso (pickled plum) and saba shiso (mackerel).

    1. Shiso miso maki -- spicy miso paste wrapped in shiso leaves and cooked.

      Shiso maki -- at yakitori places, it's pork rolled with shiso and grilled.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Limster

        Hi Limster, which miso and how do you spice it?

        Thanks

        1. re: TomG

          Good question :) -- never made it myself, but have had it a restaurant. Perhaps some more knowledgeable hound will chime in.

      2. Wrap shiso around a cherry tomato, then wrap a thin slice of bacon and use a toothpick to keep the bacon closed. Pan fry these and keep them rolling (but gently, to keep them together) until the bacon is crisp, but make sure that the tomato doesn't burst.

        The only warning about eating these is that you want to eat them while still warm, but not right out of the pan - you want to survive the tomato bursting in your mouth.

        I learned this from a very creative Japanese chef who used to have his own place in NYC - one of those places that Japanese business men frequent where you get a number of omakase items, like this one. Some are sushi or sashimi, but it all depends on what he has that day. Lots of shochu, sake or beer.

        I've made them a few times and served them as appetizers. They are addictive - you can never make enough!

        1. One of the girlie magazines I read at the gym suggested using a shiso leaf as a garnish for an alcoholic drink-- vodka-tonic? Now I'm thinking, shiso-infused vodka. And a leaf would certainly make a good garnish for a saketini.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bibi rose

            In Japan they often will add fragrant herbs, flowers, even garlic to white liquor (grain alcohol, vodka etc.), steep it for a couple of weeks and drink it. I've tried it with roses and 'kuromoji no ki' - a fragrant wood used to make traditional toothpicks in Japan. I'm going to try making something similar using green shiso leaves (don't have any red shiso in Dallas). If anyone has any comments on this, please let me know. Otherwise, I will let you know how it comes out!

            1. re: Dennis

              >>In Japan they often will add fragrant herbs, flowers, even garlic to white liquor (grain alcohol, vodka etc.), steep it for a couple of weeks and drink it. I've tried it with roses and 'kuromoji no ki' - a fragrant wood used to make traditional toothpicks in Japan. I'm going to try making something similar using green shiso leaves (don't have any red shiso in Dallas). If anyone has any comments on this, please let me know. Otherwise, I will let you know how it comes out!>>

              Please do post a followup. I think I'll try this too.

              Last week I did something kind of similar-- I had too many fresh lychees. We ate some, dropped some into glasses of champagne and then-- following a suggestion I read somewhere-- put them in a jar and filled it with vodka. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the contents of the jar (make drinks with the vodka and garnish each with an alcohol-soaked lychee?) but they smell heavenly.

          2. For a somewhat more pedestrian use, substitute shiso for your usual leaf or two of lettuce in a sandwich. You can also wrap slices of grilled meat in shiso and pop them into your mouth.

            Shiso is pretty easy to grow at home. I forgot to purchase my plant this year, but just discovered a bunch of volunteers all over the herb garden.

            1. Ito En sells a shiso-scented green tea that makes a very fragrant refreshing iced tea.

              I imagine you could do this at home by bruising some thinly sliced shiso leaves and pouring unsweetened iced Japanese green tea over.

              (Also, it is not a food but Roger et Gallet makes an absolutely beautiful shiso eau de cologne.)

              1. A restaurant I used to go to had a wonderful dish, which I have since replicated...

                Take a bowl of warm sushi rice...sprinkle with black sesame seeds and thin strips of shiso leaves...grill a small piece of salmon and either break it up into chunks or place the entire piece over the rice...scatter a couple of spoonfuls of salmon roe over the top of the rice and salmon. The warmth of the rice brings out the perfume of the shiso leaves.

                1. Not sure how successful you'd be doing this at home, but one way I've had it at restaurants is with a piece of uni sandwiched between two leaves, and then the entire thing battered in tempura batter and deep fried.

                  Seems like a risky game to play with uni unless you're confident, but the result is wonderful: warm crunchy batter, fragrant shiso leaves, and uni that's still mostly cold and creamy. Mmm.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nooodles

                    I also love plain shiso tempura. I seem to remember that people only batter one side of the leaf.

                  2. y
                    Yukari (aka Shiso)

                    Konnichiwa from Tokyo!

                    The shiso miso maki, if we are thinking of the same thing, is a specialty from Yamagata where my family is from. My cousin brought some down last month. The miso inside is on the sweet side. Quite sweet and I am not sure how they make it.

                    If you like shiso, you may also like "yukari". Dried purple-red aka jiso (red perilla) leaves. I use it when making thinly sliced cucumber pickles with rice wine vinegar. Also, great to put over hot rice, or when making rice balls.

                    Shiso unagi chirashi zushi is also quite easy. Over hot rice add some chop up some pre-cooked and seasoned unagi (available frozen at some Japanese markets), thinly sliced cucumber, julienned green shiso leaves and toasted white sesame seeds.

                    If you like natto, add shiso to your next bowl of natto!

                    When I worked as a private chef, my client loved shiso rice. After cooking rice in the rice cooker, toss in some thinly sliced shiso. If you like umeboshi, chop up some umeboshi to add with the shiso.

                    Shiso also makes a nice topping for cold soba or somen noodles.

                    Great for tempura, on it`s own - just as it is.

                    Also consider adding over fresh tofu with soy sauce. Or as a topping to a salad. It is great with thickly cut, cold, fresh tomatoes with a soy and sesame oil dressing. Finally, consider adding it sliced up thinly to your next miso soup. Add it at the last minute just before you drink it.

                    When purchasing fresh shiso, look that it has not dried up at the tips of the leaves. The stem should still be green, not black or dark purple.

                    To freshen it up, you can let it rest shortly in some cold water. It will regain a bit of crispness to it. Perfect for those recipes that are "cold".

                    One last tip, if you are going to chop it up thinly, cut off the stems. Then do one cut in half, up the middle of the leaf. Layer one half over the other (head to stem so it will roughly make a rectangle). The Japanese then roll up this, from the head to stem, making a mini-shiso-cigar. And then quickly julienne the shiso-cigar.

                    Here is to all of us enjoying the summer more with more shiso!

                    Cheers!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Yukari (aka Shiso)

                      Domo arigato, Yukarisan!

                      And thanks to everyone else who suggested uses of this wonderful herb.

                      I know I will be enjoying the summer more with shiso, especially now that I can diversify my menu and only have to eat bun cha ha noi a few time a week to get my "fix."

                      1. re: Yukari (aka Shiso)

                        This is excellent, thanks for all the great ideas!

                      2. What a great thread . . . which I am resurrecting because I got a bunch of fresh red shiso at the farmer's market. Looking for suggestions!

                        Yukari, are you still out there?
                        Can I use fresh to make cucumber pickles?

                        I'm also making a shiso-lemon dressing for edamame (from 101cookbooks.com)
                        and if I had the ingredients, I'd try shiso kimchi

                        TIA