Shiso, also known as Perilla Frutescens is a herb from the mint family.
Commonly remembered as that decorative piece of leaf under your plate of sashimi that nobody touches and associated with Korean BBQ – Shiso (Perilla) offers a bright, minty, herbaceous flavour that makes a good accompaniment to dishes helping to eliminate the rawness in fish and meat.
Unbeknownst to most, Shiso is not only an aromatic herb that you can use as garnish, but it is also a functional food that was used as an ancient medical tool since the Song Dynasty.
Wondering how you can incorporate this potent and flavourful herb into your diet? Here are some inspiration for you!
1. Shiso Infused Water / Shiso Tea
If you are like us – want the herbal health benefits of Shiso but do not like the taste, using water to extract plant constituents is the way to go! (Yes, this happens, we grow things we don’t eat because they are for you).
Chilled Shiso-infused water gives off a subtle peachy and minty flavour making it a refreshing beverage on a warm day.
A pot of warm Shiso tea, on the other hand, makes the perfect drink to accompany your dinner, it’s caffeine-free and can wash off the fatty taste of meat.
- Bring water to a boil in a teapot or pot.
- While the water is heating, crush herbs in your hand or with a mortar and pestle to help weaken the plant’s cell walls. Place herbs in a mug, heat-safe glass jar, French press, or teapot.
- Pour hot water over the herbs.
- Cover the vessel to prevent the herb’s volatile oils from escaping with the steam.
- Steep for 5-20 minutes (and up to 8 hours for a nourishing infusion or super infusion). Steeping time can vary depending on the herb and other factors, such as desired flavour and desired strength of the extract. Here we used fresh herbs and steeped them overnight before putting them in the refrigerator to chill.
- Filter, after steeping, using a tea strainer and a heat-safe vessel. Press down on the herbs with a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. If using a French press, just press and pour into your mug!
Consume immediately or within 24 hours after straining if refrigerated.
2. Garnishing for these Asian Dishes
Braised Abalone Noodles
This is a lazy, under-15-minute dish that looks extravagant and tastes good! 😏
Here we use konjac (shirataki) noodles, a can of braised abalone, tatsoi, and shiso leaf as a base to eliminate the fishy smell from abalone and konjac noodles. Plus, some volcanic sorrel leaves just to be extra and make it look pretty.
The ingredients we bought are a can of delicious braised abalone and konjac noodles, everything else is harvested #freshoffGrobrix!
- Pour the can of abalone sauce only (the sauce is the essence) into a pot to simmer on low heat.
- Add konjac noodles into the pot when the sauce taste warm.
- Add tatsoi to cook when the sauce starts to bubble. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add abalone to cook for just 30 seconds to a minute.
Here we are pairing it with Sage tea.
Asian Pesto Pasta
This is a wholesome pesto recipe from our brand ambassador, Charlotte Mei, with the ingredients she is growing on her Grobrix farm wall.
Also from Charlotte Mei, this is another punchy and complex dish you can put together in just 15 minutes!
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3. The natural contender – Meat Wrap for Korean BBQ!
Anyone who has had Kbbq must have tried using leafy vegetables (lettuce, cabbage or perilla leaves) to wrap a piece of meat and toppings, while the intention is to prevent the fillings from spilling out, using a flavourful leaf like Perilla can add more depth to the taste.
Craving for some Kbbq? Check out this Korean Beef Wrap recipe from Charlotte Mei.
4. Pickled Perilla Leaves as a side dish
Here’s another way to enjoy the benefits of Perilla without needing to experience its “raw” flavour.
Pickled perilla leaves make a good side dish with a bowl of steaming hot rice and fish. Or even as a snack!
Here’s a simple recipe we found.
image credit: My Korean Kitchen
Tried any of these? Tag us @grobrix with your creations!