What Does Shiso Taste Like?

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What Does Shiso Taste Like

Have you ever been to an Asian store and came across a plant that smells somewhat minty and looks like a giant basil plant but isn’t really basil? If so, describe your experience. Now, if I had to guess, I’d say you’re looking at shiso.

In Japanese homes and kitchens, shiso is utilized in a broad variety of dishes, ranging from soups and salads to noodles and even tempura.

So, have you given any thought to bringing this plant into your own house as well?

In such case, the first thing you need to do is find out how shiso tastes.

In this method, you’ll be able to create your very own one-of-a-kind shiso dishes that will excite your taste senses.

What is Shiso?

The pungent plant known as perilla frutescens var. in its native Japan is referred to as shiso.

crispa is a kind of mint that belongs to the family Lamiaceae.

This particular plant comes in a number of different kinds, which may be distinguished from one another based on the shape of their leaves and the color of their stems.

The most widely available variants are red, green, and bicolor shiso, amongst others.

Shiso is a highly prized component in both the east and southeast Asian cuisines, making it a star in the world of gastronomy.

For instance, pickled plums in Japan are colored with red shiso, which is a kind of Japanese herb.

Shiso is a common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, particularly in stir-fried meals as well as salads and soups.

It’s possible for the taste, look, and even the name of the plant to change depending on where you are in the world.

For instance, in Korea they call it soyeop, whilst in Laos they call the red shiso leaves pak maengda. Both names refer to the same plant.

What Does Shiso Taste Like?

When you go to an Asian restaurant in your area, if you smell cilantro, basil, mint, or tarragon, the scent you are smelling is most likely shiso. This is because shiso is a member of the mint family.

Why? Because the herb causes people to think of all of the other herbs and spices that were just described.

Anise and spearmint are two more flavors and aromas that may be present at times.

Shiso has a flavor that is both enigmatic and brilliant, and although it is fragrant, it also has a taste that is both green and spicy.

In addition to being crisp, shiso has a tinge of citrus in its flavor.

The herb could also have a somewhat sweet flavor, with notes of bitterness appearing every once in a while.

Even though it’s a widely used ingredient in cooking, not everyone like it, and many people think it’s too potent.

However, as a result of the meal being a wonderful shade of purple or green, it will most certainly appear appetizing.

It is important to use just a modest quantity of the herb if you want it to have taste and maintain the dish’s overall harmony of flavor.

If you use too much of it, the whole meal can take on a different flavor and turn out differently than you had anticipated.

Because the herb causes you to think of so many other spices and plants, you may use it in lieu of those other ingredients even if you don’t have them on hand.

The herb is referred to as shiso the majority of the time; however, other names for it include Chinese basil, perilla mint, wild basil, beefsteak plant, and beefsteak plant.

The shiso plant is not only lovely to look at, fragrant, and tasty, but it also has a good deal of nutritional value.

It has a high concentration of calcium and iron, in addition to other components.

Shiso has 0.1 calories for every 0.3 grams that make up a serving size.

It provides 1.4 milligrams of potassium, 0.1 milligrams of sodium, no fat, no cholesterol, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.

It is a common component in Chinese traditional medicine, and it is used by patients to treat a variety of respiratory conditions, including the common cold, influenza, asthma, and others.

How to Cook and Use Shiso?

In most cases, shiso is used in the role of a garnish. A key function of it is to provide taste and fragrance to the food being prepared.

When using raw shiso, the most typical method is to mince the leaves and then sprinkle the minced leaves on top of a meal just before it is served.

Shiso leaves may also be wrapped around food in much the same way as lettuce or nori sheets would be used.

For instance, sushi in Japan is traditionally wrapped with shiso leaves rather than nori.

The delicacy known as tempura is often prepared with shiso.

Shiso leaves are breaded and fried till they have a crunchy texture in this meal.

After that, they are served with a flavorful dipping sauce on the side as an accompaniment.

In addition to that, the herb is a fantastic complement to fatty meats and shellfish, especially.

Before making use of the shiso leaves, one must take the necessary precaution of carefully washing them in order to remove any traces of dirt or other contaminants.

If you are able to get your hands on some overgrown shiso herbs, rather of throwing them away, you might try using them to make a flavorful pesto sauce.

They are also a great addition to dipping sauces, sashimi bowls, and mixed fried rice since they provide a pleasant touch of taste.

Did you know that you may enjoy the herb in the form of a drink as well? When stored in the refrigerator, the red type is often put to use in the preparation of juices and syrups, both of which have a shelf life of up to three months.


Can you eat shiso leaf raw?

In Japanese, it is also known by the name Ooba. This perennial herb is used in Vietnamese and Korean cookery to a significant degree as well. Shiso is a Japanese herb that is often used in sushi and sashimi dishes. It is known for having huge, jagged leaves, a vibrant color, and a taste that is both sharp and invigorating. Shiso may be eaten fresh, pickled, or deep-fried.

What does shiso pair with?

Wrapping an entire leaf around a piece of sashimi and dipping it in soy sauce is a delicious way to savor the herb, which goes particularly well with fatty fish like salmon, yellowtail, and tuna. Additionally, shiso goes well with fruits and vegetables. Shiso leaves that have been julienned are often added to salads in order to provide a zesty, tangy taste.

What is shiso called in English?

Because certain forms of the plant have purple leaves that mimic the hue of beefsteak, it is frequently referred to as the “beefsteak plant” in English. Perilla mint, Chinese basil, and wild basil are some of the other names that are often used for this plant.

Does shiso taste like cumin?

Shiso is a member of the mint family and has a distinctive taste that is comparable to that of basil and cilantro and also contains undertones of cumin and cloves. Shiso is a herb that is often used as a garnish in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. It is also known as beefsteak plant.

Is shiso good for health?

As a result of the high calcium and iron content that the shiso leaves possess, they are an excellent and nutritious ingredient for use in salads, soups, and stews. The plant also contains a lot of vitamin A, which is known to have health benefits including a reduced chance of getting some forms of cancer.

What is the difference between shiso and perilla?

In botanical parlance, the name perilla refers to a number of distinct species of plants belonging to the mint family. The perilla leaves that are preferred by the Koreans are more wide and rounder, but the Japanese like the perilla leaves that are more narrow and minty. Perilla has a taste similar to other herbs, which is agreeable and may be described as grassy with overtones of anise or licorice.

Why is shiso called beefsteak?

Perilla mint and Chinese basil are common names for it in the United States, but as interest in Japanese cuisine grows, more people are beginning to refer to it as shiso. Because it was brought to the Americas in the beginning as a decorative, some people refer to it as a summer coleus. The name “beefsteak plant” comes from the fact that the deepest red kinds look just like steak.

How do you eat Japanese shiso?

We like using shiso in salads in the same way that we use other herbs, such as mint or basil, in addition to its more conventional use. The bigger leaves, on the other hand, might be rather rough; thus, you should be sure to rip or shred them first. Shiso may also be used in cooked applications like fried rice or ramen, or it can be fried whole and used as a garnish. Both of these uses are examples of cooked applications.

What would you be served in a Japanese restaurant if you order shiso?

According to Iimori, you may think of it as a Japanese mint. According to him, “it is famous for the antibacterial capabilities it has.” It is common practice in Japan to include it into dishes such as pickles, salad, and noodles. It’s incredibly energizing and stimulating.” Shiso may be eaten either fresh or pickled, and we’ve even seen it fried. It’s a common ingredient in sushi rolls, where it can be found in either form.


Since the flavor of shiso is comparable to that of a wide variety of herbs and spices, it may be used as a stand-in for such items if you don’t have them on hand.

However, given that it has a strong flavor and scent, you should only use a little amount of it so that your meal may achieve its full potential in terms of flavor.

It goes well with a variety of foods, including seafood, eggs, shrimp, and vegetables.

To get that delightful smell in salads, stews, soups, and other foods, use it as a finishing touch.

Alternately, you may use the leaves as a garnish on a variety of foods. This will make them seem more appealing.

Should you decide that you do not want to eat it, you need just set it away.

You will still be able to detect the odor, but it won’t be nearly as strong.