Cooking with Shiso


Cooking with Shiso: Recipes and Tips


Shiso, also known as perilla, is a vibrant herb commonly used in Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisines. It has a unique flavor profile that combines hints of mint, basil, anise, and citrus, making it a versatile ingredient in various dishes. In this blog post, we’ll explore the culinary uses of shiso, share some delicious recipes, and provide tips for cooking with this aromatic herb.

What is Shiso?

Shiso (Perilla frutescens var. crispa) is a member of the mint family and comes in several varieties, including green shiso (aojiso) and red shiso (akajiso). Green shiso is often used fresh in salads, sushi, and as a garnish, while red shiso is commonly used for pickling and coloring foods.

Culinary Uses

Shiso adds a refreshing, aromatic flavor to a variety of dishes. It can be used fresh, pickled, or as a seasoning in both savory and sweet recipes. Its distinctive taste enhances salads, sushi, soups, and even beverages.

Tips for Cooking with Shiso

  1. Preparation: Rinse shiso leaves under cold water to remove any dirt. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Usage: Shiso can be used whole, sliced, or chopped. Fresh shiso leaves are often used as a garnish or wrap, while chopped leaves can be mixed into salads, rice, and other dishes.
  3. Storage: Store fresh shiso leaves in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a plastic bag. They can last up to a week when stored this way.


1. Shiso Pesto


  • 1 cup fresh shiso leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor, combine shiso leaves, Parmesan cheese, nuts, and garlic.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

2. Shiso Tempura


  • 12 fresh shiso leaves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cold water, and egg yolk to make the tempura batter. Do not overmix; the batter should be slightly lumpy.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Dip each shiso leaf into the batter, allowing any excess to drip off.
  4. Fry the leaves in the hot oil until crispy and lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

3. Shiso and Cucumber Salad


  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 10 fresh shiso leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a bowl, combine the sliced cucumbers and shiso leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cucumber and shiso mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.


Shiso is a versatile and aromatic herb that adds a unique flavor to a variety of dishes. Whether you’re making a vibrant Shiso Pesto, crispy Shiso Tempura, or a refreshing Shiso and Cucumber Salad, this herb will elevate your culinary creations. Experiment with these recipes and tips to discover the delightful taste of shiso in your cooking.