OFF THE SHELF
Shiso useful in a variety of salads and cooked foods
By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor
|Shiso leaf is especially popular in Japanese-style cooking.
Gregory Yamamoto The Honolulu Advertiser
This summer annual is a member of the family that also includes mint and basil. It has coleus-like, deeply serrated leaves and is believed to have medicinal properties as well as dietary uses. It grows readily where other sunny-weather herbs prosper.
According to the Garden Guides web site (www.gardenguides.com), the flavor has been described as curry-like and a combination of cumin, cilantro and parsley, with a hint of cinnamon. The leaves are a nice addition to mesclun salads and especially good sprinkled over cucumbers, cabbage or fish. Add chopped leaves to pestos. The flowers are edible, and leaves and flowers make a fragrant tea. Crushed leaves smell like lemon balm.
Both green (aoshiso or ohba in Japanese) and red (akashiso) shiso are available; the green is more intensely flavored.
Here's a quick recipe for shiso miso marinade: Boil leaves lightly in water to cover. Drain and pat dry. Chop and set aside. Mix 1/2 cup red miso and 1/2 cup koji miso and 1/3 cup each sake, mirin and sugar in pan and stir over low heat until blended. Remove from heat, add shiso. Store in refrigerator. Spread marinade on thin-sliced teriyaki meat and marinate overnight. Stir-fry or grill meat and serve over hot rice.