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Mar 19, 2010 06:40 AM

Looking to buy fresh Shiso leaves in Boston

Does anyone know of a market that sells fresh Shiso leaves in Boston? How about Yuzu? I am interested in making a sesame crusted Mahi Mahi with Soy Shiso Ginger Butter Sauce. I'm relatively new to the area, live in the beacon hill area, and don't know where to find fresh Shiso leaves.

I'm also looking forward to trying to make a yuzu and shiso leaf cocktail....

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  1. You could try the Ebisuya Japanese market in Medford or H-Mart in Burlington but I don't know of any places close to you that might have them.

    3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

    2 Replies
    1. re: RoyRon

      I bought some Shiso from H-mart, but it's called Sesame Leaf. I understand Japanese Shiso is diffrent then Korean Shiso though. Where can I get some Japanese Shiso?

      1. re: Torolover

        Sesame leaf (gaennip) is related to shiso, as I understand it, but it's quite different- the leafs can get much larger, they're slightly rough in texture, and they have a milder flavor. Japanese green shiso is smaller and shinier leafs. (There's also purple shiso, but I've never seen that in a market in the Boston area)
        The Japanese markets mentioned here all should have shiso (with the caveat about Ebisuya- actually, Kotobukiya was also hit or miss on shiso when they were in business)
        I wouldn't be surprised if H-Mart has Japanese shiso, too, but I haven't looked for it expressly...

        3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

    2. reliable market in somerville is also likely to have fresh shiso leaves

      3 Replies
      1. re: galangatron

        Reliable definitely has green shiso, though sometimes it's a little peaked-looking. (Nice fresh sesame/gaennip leafs seem to be abundant year-round- there must be a greenhouse grower somewhere in the area?- but shiso, not so much.)
        The Japanese market in Brookline village also has it, and I imagine Ebisuya does too. As I recall, Sea to You (now in Brookline) may also carry it?

        1. re: another_adam

          I wouldn't count on Ebisuya as their fresh produce is pretty sparse. I'd definitely call ahead before making a special trip.

      2. There's a [mostly Korean] pan-Asian store called "Lotte Oriental Grocery" on Mass. Ave just west of MIT, not too far from you (walkable from Kendall or Central on the red line or from the #1 bus).

        I was there two days ago and saw fresh shiso in their produce case. (i.e. what I recognized as shiso from years of working in a high-end Japanese place -- I don't know anything about Korean shiso) It wasn't labeled in English, but the woman at the register should be able to help you. [It might not hurt to look shiso up online so you can visually ID them yourself.] They were in small bundles bound by a rubber band.

        I didn't notice any fresh yuzu, but they do have pre-bottled yuzu juice which may or may not be acceptable.

        They also have quail eggs by the dozen. I love those things.

        Lotte Oriental Grocery
        297 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4151

        Massachusetts Avenue Restaurant
        906 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2 Replies
        1. re: collinsgavornik

          That's a good point about Lotte- they might have it, too. I'm pretty sure that the folded bundles are sesame leaf, though- shiso is usually flat, since it bruises too easily if it's folded or tied up...

          1. re: another_adam

            Like I said, I don't know the Korean variety, BUT
            These were not folded, but stacked flat with bands around their stems, maybe 6 to a bundle [which is also how they were packaged at the restaurant when they came from our supplier in Japan] . Looked exactly like Japanese shiso to me with very jagged serrated edges.

            In the next bin over were leaves of a similar shape but larger and with more rounded edges, which fits with the Korean variety I just looked up on wikipedia ... where I also just learned that both are varieties of _Perilla frutescens_ and not closely related to sesame at all -- The Korean variety just picked up the name of "wild sesame" at some point, just like the Japanese version got the name "beef steak plant" though it lacks any relation to beef.