[Shiso leaves. Photo Ad Blankestijn]
The large leaves of this plant are used in Japanese cuisine. It is a member of the mint family (tasting somewhere between mint and basil) and has a refreshing taste. Shiso improves the appetite.
There is a green and a red variety. The red variety (akajiso) is used for coloring umeboshi.
The green type (aojiso) has a variety of uses.
- It used as a garnish with sashimi and sushi. Good for its antibacterial properties.
- Finely chopped, it can be added as a flavoring to hot rice and other dishes.
- It can be deep-fried as tempura.