Perilla frutescens, or shiso (pronounced she-so), is the Japanese name for the herb Perilla which is a member of the mint family.
Shiso leaves are either red or green with red shiso having an aniseed flavour, and green which we use in our KOLA+, a more herbaceous flavour. Shiso leaves are rich in calcium and iron, and are often used in Chinese medicine to treat asthma, colds, flu and other respiratory ailments.
Green shiso leaves are often served with “sashimi” as a garnish but it has uses far beyond that. We like adding it to our eggs in the morning but another favourite is Shiso leaf pesto which can be served with fresh udon or soba noodles or drizzled over fish. It's a specialist ingredient which you won't find in your local supermarket but you can buy it from the Japan centre in London or online from the Fine Food Specialist who deliver UK wide.
- 4 cups tightly packed shiso leaves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 sml clove of garlic
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 3/4 cup light olive oil
- 1 pack of good quality udon or soba noodles
Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to a fine green puree.
Boil the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well and stir with the pesto.