Japanese Shiso Leaves (Perilla Leaves)

Japanese Shiso Leaves (perilla)

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Shiso leaves are from the shiso plant, a perennial herb that is also known as perilla (perilla frustescens) and belongs to the mint family. The leaves come in two colours, green as you see here, as well as red/purple.

It is a herb that is widely used in Japan, Korea and parts of South East Asia, in salads, with noodles, as dishes for small amount of sauces and as wraps.

The taste is a touch citrusy and sharp with a touch of spice, definite hints of mustard or wasabi, but not quite!

Japanese perilla, shiso leaves
Japanese perilla, shiso leaves

How to Use Shiso Leaves?

My favourite use for it is in fresh salads, cut thinly, as in the Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef and Noodle Salad, but it is perfect in any Western or even Middle Eastern salad.

The purple variety is a wonderful natural dye and is what gives umeboshi its distinctive purple/red colour. Umeboshi are Japanese pickled plums.

Take a look at the Shiso Parcels below as an idea of how to use up leftovers, especially when your shiso plant needs a haircut!

Shiso Parcels
Shiso Parcels

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