Thursday, August 12, 2010


Now playing: FSK - Gesundheit
via FoxyTunes

....Gesundheit! Oh, the herb Perilla -Sorry.

Perilla, or Shiso in Japanese is another herb the lady at the Asian market introduced me too. This one is heavenly! It has a citrus undertone and ends with a subtle anise-like flavour. Perilla is a member of the mint family. There are two varieties, a green and a red. The red variety is used more to colour food items, such as pickled plums. The green variety is used to flavour sushi, sashimi, salads and fried tempura-style and there is even a brand named cola that has a Shiso flavour in Japan.

It was fun cooking with this herb. I used it in a cucumber salad, as cucumbers are coming from the garden at the moment (watch out!) It was then garnished with tempura shiso and tempura green tomatoes (there was another incident with the patio tomato plant.) The big leaf of shiso was used as a wrap for the cucumber salad. Delicious! I will be growing this next year.

The salad had (it is gone now) sliced garden cucumbers and scallions. For the dressing make a concoction of rice wine vinegar, mirin, fish sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, chiffonade of shiso leaves.

Perilla is rich in vitamins and minerals. This herb is used to boost the immune system.

The oil is also extracted to make paint and varnishes with waterproof qualities.

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