Green shiso is a bit spicy in flavor with a hint of cinnamon. The leaves are rich in calcium and iron, and because of its strong flavor, can stand up to such things as pickling.
The entire plant can be consumed, and its seeds are used to as an edible oil in places such as Korea, or ground and used as seasoning. Red shiso is used as dye to make umeboshi and that delightfully spicy pickled ginger.
Shiso is used in traditional medicine as well, believed to help prevent anemia and contain cancer-fighting properties. Some Japanese use it alongside ginger, rice vinegar, or umeboshi to help blood circulation.
Most common uses of shiso include serving it with sashimi, wrapped around sushi, or added to soups, rice, and tempura.
The brilliant thing about shiso is that it's incredibly versatile. Despite the fact that it may look delicate, it can not only stand up to seafood and heavier meats, but actually complements it nicely.
Try shiso in your cooking today, in everything from tacos to tofu!
Non GMO Shiso plant 白紫蘇
Culinary Uses of Shiso
This versatile herb can be used in a large number of dishes. If you often eat in Japanese restaurants, you may have tried it already — it is added to soups, rice or tempura and wrapped around sushi.
Shredded shiso can be used as a flavorful garnish for tofu or added to fish tacos! Add it to spaghetti in place of parsley, or mix it with some soy sauce and sesame oil to make a delicious marinade for grilled chicken. If you need a place to start, try this shiso plum yakitori skewers recipe.
Besides its unique flavor, shiso offers amazing health benefits. The leaves are often served with sashimi, not just for their flavor, but also because shiso is a known antiseptic that can help to prevent food poisoning.
Health Benefits of Shiso
In Japan and other Asian countries, the leaves are often added to hot water to make a tea. The tea contains antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory and allergy-fighting properties. The tea also helps to strengthen the immune system and the health of your skin.
Having also been used as an herbal remedy in Japan for centuries, the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties are used to treat everything from asthma, arthritis and eczema.
The shiso leaves contain large amounts of calcium and iron, making them a great, healthy addition to salads, soups and stews. The herb is also rich in vitamin A, which may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Shiso oil is also an herb-based alternative to fish oil, as it can provide omega-3 fatty acids to vegans and strict vegetarians.
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