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japanese greens

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pat hammond Jan 11, 2000 04:18 PM

I am preparing to search (probably in vain) in St. Louis for a Japanese green veggie called,I believe, shiso. It comes in little bunches and may be eaten cooked or raw. We used to have a nifty little Japanese store but it closed. Does anyone know if there is an equivalent that might be found in a Chinese type grocery store? Or even the same vegetable but with a different name? Thanks as usual. pat

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    jen kalb RE: pat hammond Jan 11, 2000 04:46 PM

    this is perilla. It is an annual herb(the plant has rather the shape of a basil plant) that seeds in freely around my garden and is rather a nuisance. The japanese use the purple shiso/perilla (what I have in my garden) to as a coloring agent for those little salted plums and other things. The green shiso with a smooth edge is what I have seen in restaurants but I think the taste of the perillas are pretty much the same. If you have no luck finding the leaf, perhaps you might consider planting some seeds. They are available from some of the fancy mailorder seed houses.

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    1. re: jen kalb
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      pat hammond RE: jen kalb Jan 12, 2000 09:06 AM

      Thanks Jen and Stephanie. I was afraid this would turn into an adventure like pomello. We do have good Asian grocery stores so perhaps I will be able to score some of this stuff. pat

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      Stefany B. RE: pat hammond Jan 11, 2000 07:42 PM

      Shiso, or beef leaf, or beefsteak plant, is widely used in sushi. It is quite common and can be purchased in any asian food market. If you have a problem finding it I recommend that you go to a good suchi bar and ask the chef where he gets it.

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