mofo: herb

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27) Favorite herb or spice.

Shiso! One of my favorite herbs. I’ve only had it at the Japanese restaurant in town. When I asked the owner what it was we shuttled back and forth through the language barrier. Eventually she said ‘it’s like Japanese basil’ and from that I was able to google search it and see if I could grow my own. A project I never got around to but thankfully Lisa had a pot bursting with it a month back and sent me home with a hand full of shiso also called perilla or beefsteak.

It’s considered part of the mint family but the flavor profile can range from citrus to basil. It is definitely unique and hard to define but the first time I tasted it I loved it. I hear it’s similar to cilantro in that people either recoil or relish it. This bushel went into salads and wraps. Some people chop it on to pasta or make pesto from it. It gets used in onigiri. The red leaf shiso is what give umeboshi plums their hue. I sometimes just tore off a leaf for the taste. It’s like a palate cleanser maybe because of it’s alleged antibacterial properties. Growing my own shiso is a must next season.

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10 comments
  1. Caroline said:

    I’ve never even heard of shiso! Sounds like a great flavour profile. That would be cool to grow your own.

    • lysette said:

      Just got to get myself some seeds and the rest should be easy πŸ™‚

  2. I love shiso even though the only thing I ever do is stick it in pesto. I wonder if it could be grown on a windowsill in a pot? I might give it a go!

    • lysette said:

      Lisa grew it in a pot outside, on the windowsill should totally work. Go for it!

  3. ameyfm said:

    whoa, cool!! I’ve heard of shiso, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it or tasted it. Now I’m even more curious. πŸ™‚

    • lysette said:

      I bet you could find it at a Japanese market. It’s really unique, you’ll like it.

    • lysette said:

      Hey it’s the start of growing season in your hemisphere!

      • lysette said:

        I’ve always wondered if that was a shiso leaf in your gravatar?

      • nope it’s a vine leaf from our ornamental grapevine πŸ˜€

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