Thursday, October 15, 2009

Japanese Purple Shiso (a.k.a. Perilla)

The shiso started out innocently enough.

Here it is on May 29, right after planting.

Cute, right?

And now, here it is on October 6th, MONSTER PLANT!!! It's trying to take over. And this is even after I trimmed off about 1/4 of it. Well that's ok. I've got it back there with the crazy other mint anyway. I left the flowers on it this year too, because it is an annual and I'd like it to self-sow for next year. Hopefully it won't be too hard to control! Guess we'll see..
Mostly I've just been tucking it into sushi. But one night I actually made something with it, and couldn't believe how delicious it was! It looks a little strange, what with the dark purple color, but it has such a lovely delicate taste. I had 2 cucumbers left from the garden so I chopped them, then sliced two big handfuls of shiso leaves into 1/4 ribbons and mixed them in a bowl.

For dressing I whisked together 1 tsp umeboshi plum paste, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar and about 6 tsp rice vinegar (I like my dressings more on the acid side, plus I'm still trying to keep the oil amounts down for my diet). It was simple but really delicious. I love this plant!

I think I will also dry some to preserve them over the winter.

1 comment:

Aubade said...

Just found this recipe for shiso that looks interesting.

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