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Abundance of Shiso (perilla) - cooking uses and experiments?

So much shiso, so little time. I've used it with sashimi and sushi, and even chopped it into rice.

now i need ideas for how to use it as an herb in cooking

any thoughts or tips?

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  1. Love shiso but as you know it is fairly potent. The obvious uses pair it well with tuna and other iron rich fish. I have used it sparingly but effectively in a lamb tartar in lieu of mint. This does not work exactly but since shiso is to tuna as mint is to lamb, shiso and lamb make some sense since for some reason tuna and lamb remind me of one another. I have not used it in a cooked lamb dish but it might work.

    Other than that I have used shiso in fried rice to brighten up the end result.

    1. My husband makes a great pasta with it.

      Saute finely chopped garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Toss the garlic and oil with shredded shiso and a chunky pasta, and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

      You can also use it in place of mint in a mojito (shisojito?) with surprisingly good effect.

      1. Does yours have the red coloring or just the green? One year I had the red stuff and put it in some white wine vinegar for infused vinegar. The red stuff made the most gorgeous magenta pink vinegar. We gave these for gifts. The green stuff would taste good as well.

        You could make an infused sugar syrup for on fruit. Take 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan. Heat so the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and throw in a handful of shiso leaves. Let sit. Then strain if you want and pour over fruit for a light dessert.

        1. It tastes really good when chopped and mixed with salads. I've been contemplating using it as a pizza topping in lieu of basil (without tomato sauce).

          1. We also have an abundance of perilla this year and aside from the usual perilla kimchi and stewing it in soy sauce, we've been throwing it in our pajeon. Adds a really nice flavor. My mother used to batter and fry the perilla leaves all on their own as a special treat. Use tempura sauce as a dip if you wish.

            If you do korean bbq or any kind of lettuce wrap, it's a great addition to the wrap. I've even used it with banh xeo and crispy, greasy egg rolls.

            1 Reply
            1. re: soypower

              had some perilla pajeon (aka ken-yip jun) in a kwangju restaurant and i had to have it again once i got home. simple recipe:

              1.5 cups flour

              1.5 cups water (can adjust depending on whether you want thicker or thinner)

              1 egg

              1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your salty preference)

              12 medium to large perilla leaves

              finely chop about 5 leaves and blend with flour, water, salt and egg. coarsely chop the rest of the leaves and mix into the batter. lightly oil a frying pan and cook as if you were making pancakes.

              if you want a dipping sauce, try mixing 3 tblsp soy sauce, 1 tsp fine chili powder, 1 finely chopper clove of garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder) , thinly chopped green onions

            2. I've used it to wrap fish in to steam.

              1. I like to use it in summer rolls, pesto, for tempura and in ssahm (Korean lettuce wraps).

                1. Same predicament (why did this come in a six-pack at the plant sale?)

                  Couple of ideas I had...

                  Throw some in with some beef broth with maybe some basil to have a base for a pho-like soup, then freeze it.

                  Dry it out for later use.

                  Any reason this wouldn't work? Does it still have flavor when dried?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kevin47

                    Dried shiso is essentially furikake! -- http://ameblo.jp/sakae/entry-10014678...

                    Basically, wash, add salt, let it pickle then dry in the fridge. You can make it into a fine dust with a mortar and pestle.

                  2. If the leaves are big enough, they make a nice wrapper for rice balls.

                    The Dok Suni cookbook has a recipe for pickling Korean perilla in a combination of soy sauce, ground sesame seeds (toast in a sesame seed roaster before grinding, or very carefully in a pan -- they burn easily), red pepper, sesame oil, a bit of sugar, salt, garlic & green onion (think that's it) -- you put some of the marinade in a container & stack the leaves on it, spreading more marinade on each as you do, & put it in the fridge for a day or so. This is fantastic with just plain rice.

                    But all of you who have too much shiso, please tell me what you did to make it grow so abundantly -- this year, planted the red (which I can never find at the market) indoors under lights & outdoors in a friend's yard, & although it came up quickly, it is taking forever, indoors & out, to produce decent-sized leaves. What are we doing wrong? Mint, in the same outdoor yard, just about took over the world last year; does shiso need different treatment?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mshenna

                      A friend gave me a shiso plant that I left in my office for one day. It completely wilted! I was sure I had killed it but ran water through it several times for a day. It perked back up. I brought it home and planted it in the garden a couple of days ago and it is looking well. My friend says it is important to pinch back the leaves.

                      I came here looking for ways to use shiso, The furikake idea sounds good except I don't know what amietron means by "let it pickle then dry" in fridge. Pickle with salt only? Or add vinegar?

                      1. re: mshenna

                        I'm not sure what I did, but it grew like mad. Had it in a container with a couple of other herbs (I'm in an apt with a big balcony). Watered daily, fertilized a couple of times during the summer...same as all my other plants.

                        In fact, a lot of my containers had little perilla plants popping up this spring from the seeds. I could have had it for free, if I had wanted. I didn't want it because I didn't get enough use out of it. Planted catnip instead this year for the kitty.

                        I still have some perilla vinegar from last year that I use for dressing.

                      2. In a separate thread on umeboshi, another poster shared a link for a chicken thigh recipe which also uses quite a bit of shiso. The combination of flavors is amazing and if you can get your hands on the original cookbook, there are several more shiso recipes. The link for the chicken thigh one is: http://www.bento.com/trt-chickenthigh.... It makes way more sauce than needed so I just about double the amount of chicken.

                        1. The French blogger Chocolate and Zucchini lists 43 things

                          1. I grew this in my backyard plot in jersey city. It is doing so well that its overshadowing my strawberries. I cant imagine the flowers add much to the experience so im trying to harvest them now in order to save the other plants. Im wonder if i can dry some to save for later because there is so much. Mine is red.