Easy Japanese Recipes

Shiso Garlic Soy Sauce ニンニク紫蘇醤油

Shiso Garlic Soy Sauce Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

At times when I have limited ingredients in my fridge and I can’t think of anything new to cook, I go to this Japanese website called Cookpad.  It’s the Japanese version of Allrecipes.com or Cook.com.

My favorite flavored soy sauce, Shiso Garlic Soy Sauce, came from there.  This original recipe created a huge sensation in Japan a couple years ago.  This recipe has only 3 ingredients, but the combination of  Shiso, garlic, and soy sauce was probably unheard of or not a common combination back then.  It’s a pretty amazing sauce.  I love this sauce so much that I always keep replenishing the ingredients so it’s always ready to go when I need it.

I know Shiso is not a very common ingredient to find for most of my readers, but if you live close to a Japanese market I hope you try this distinct and unique herb.  It’s used in quite a few Sushi restaurants as garnish for Sashimi or found inside hand rolls.  I hope you will like this sauce as much as I do!

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Shiso Garlic Soy Sauce
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 jar/container
  • 10 Shiso leaves, rinsed and pat dry
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce (or until it covers otheringredients)
  1. Wash shiso leaves and pat dry completely with paper towel (it’s the key to preserve for 2-3 months).
  2. In an air-tight container, add shiso, sliced garlic, and soy sauce. Keep in the fridge for at least 1 day before you use it.
  3. Use the sauce, or/and garlic and shiso depending on your needs. After you use it, keep the container in the fridge. You can keep adding ingredients but use it within 2-3 months (as you see in this picture, I’m adding extra shiso and garlic here).
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Quick & Easy, Sauces, Dressings & Condiments, Vegetarian

Leave a Comment

two + = 10

  • Cooking Gallery April 25, 2011, 2:24 am

    I have seen shiso leaves being used much in Japanese and Korean cuisines. I love the look of shisho leaves, but I don’t know where to get them here, I can imagine that the sauce must taste wonderful because I like the combination of garlic and soy sauce.

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:11 pm

      I’m not sure where you live CG, but do you have any Japanese store nearby? They should usually have shiso leaves, and they are sometimes called Ooba. English name was “perilla.” I hope you get to try this taste of an amazing combination!

  • Legume April 25, 2011, 3:45 am

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:19 pm

      Thank you Legume!

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious April 25, 2011, 8:42 am

    Nami, this sounds like a great combo. I’ll have to remember Shiso when I go to Marukai this week! Mmm I want this over soft tofu- so refreshing!

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:22 pm

      Hi Lindsey! Thanks for letting me know about Acai Bowl! I’ll check Whole Foods here. Here’s another recipe using this sauce and marinated Shiso: Wrap Onigiri (riceballs) with these shiso leaves. It’s so good too! Summer is almost here and I can’t wait to eat cold Hiyayakko (the tofu dish you mentioned) too!

  • Giulietta @ Alterkitchen April 25, 2011, 11:03 am

    I never heard of Shiso before… my fault, but it’s wonderful learning something new everyday!

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:24 pm

      I think it’s much less Asian/Japanese population in Italy and I can see it’s pretty hard to find. :-( When you have a chance to visit here, I’ll cook for you! ;-)

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking April 25, 2011, 11:12 am

    Very nice sauce..Let me ask you can I substitute Shiso leaves with regular mint or basil? They are all from the same family, I just thought it would work well and maybe just the same? But I will try to find Shiso for sure!

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:27 pm

      Hi Sandra! All of the herbs here are very unique (and strong), so the taste is a little different. But you are used to basil/mint + garlic taste, so it’s the matter of adding soy sauce. :-D It sounds a little weird to me, but you never know, it could be an amazing discovery (or total failure…LOL). You wanna be my guinea pig Sandra? Haha.

  • Gourmantine April 25, 2011, 12:51 pm

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed, I could find Shiso leaves in the local market, thanks for sharing Nami!

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:35 pm

      Thanks Gourmantine! If you find it in local market in Europe, I’ll be surprised. It’s a treasure!

  • Firefly April 25, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Thanks :) this is going to be great, and I love for how long it can be used :)

    • Nami April 25, 2011, 11:36 pm

      Hi Suzana, yep always in my fridge. :-)

  • Wokintime April 25, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I love shiso, but I never know what to do with it except make tempura. I love the idea of flavored shoyu. I’m so unJapanese for a Japanese girl. Thanks for keeping me close to my roots Nami!

    • Nami April 26, 2011, 12:04 am

      Hi Jamie! Yum Tempura is a good way. My mom used all the leftover Shiso for tempura too. Haha I’m becoming of something non-Japanese too (maybe more Chinese after husband’s influence). I “think” I’m still a Japanese but when I see a Japanese person coming to the US, I feel like… I’m so different from them already. Hm is this sort of identity crisis? Haha.

  • Lisa April 25, 2011, 3:05 pm

    I’ll be looking out for the shiso leaves.

    • Nami April 26, 2011, 12:23 am

      Hi Lisa! Thank you for coming to my site!

  • Sandra April 25, 2011, 7:02 pm

    More new information I’ve learned from you. Have you ever thought of teaching a cooking class?

    • Nami April 26, 2011, 12:28 am

      Hi Sandra! Thank you! About cooking class, I actually thought of teaching Japanese food… but my kids are still small and they are mostly at home so I really don’t have “extra” time right now until they go to bed at 8pm. But thank you for your suggestion. You used to teach baking class right? How was your experience?

  • Adora's Box April 26, 2011, 5:09 am

    There’s not much fresh Japanese products available near where I live. In fact some sushi restaurants use plastic shiso. Haha! Herbs can probably be added to that soy and garlic dip.

    • Nami April 26, 2011, 11:37 pm

      Hi Adora’s Box! LOL. At least those sushi restaurants “tried” to include Shiso as garnish. That was funny. :-D

  • Cooking Gallery April 26, 2011, 9:16 am

    Nami, I live in Germany and there are quite a lot of Japanese people who live in Frankfurt, unfortunately there are not many Japanese shops (and these don’t tend to sell fresh vegetables)! I probably need to visit Düsseldorf, because it’s known to have a very high Japanese population there. But it’s rather far away, that’s the problem.

    • Nami April 27, 2011, 12:10 am

      Hi CG! I couldn’t tell you live in Germany because your Obento box has lots of Japanese products in there. How do you get all the products? Maybe online?

  • Tiffany April 26, 2011, 4:24 pm

    When I waitressed at a sushi restaurant, I’d eat shiso straight up! I love the taste!!! I can only imagine how this garlic soy sauce must have tasted Nami!

    • Nami April 27, 2011, 12:19 am

      Hi Tiffany! Yes, me too! It has good nutrients too. My mom always says “don’t leave shiso on your plate!” even it was a garnish… haha.

  • Cooking Gallery April 27, 2011, 12:30 am

    Hi again, Nami :). I buy my bento boxes and accessories online, but the fresh ingredients I always buy from my local Asian grocery store. The store sells quite a lot of Asian goodies, but when it’s too specific like shiso leaves, it’s just impossible to get.

    • Nami April 27, 2011, 12:37 am

      Hi CG! It’s amazing that we can find Asian market pretty much everywhere, as long as there are a few Asians. :-D We are totally depending on the store for our meals!

  • Jaqie April 27, 2011, 6:39 pm

    I loooooove shiso and it drives me insane that I cant find it anywhere near my town!
    I am also a frequent cookpad user, hehehe. When I cant get a hold of my mom for recipes, I go to cookpad :D

    • Nami April 28, 2011, 1:56 pm

      Hi Jaqie! 紫蘇が仙台にない??Cookpad便利だよね~。いろんなアイデアあるし。ただ、味付けは全て信用できないけど・・それぞれの家の味だからね。コメントありがとう!

  • Beth Michelle April 28, 2011, 10:22 am

    Ooooo must try this. I love shiso and obviously its pretty hard to find here in Israel but I will keep my eye out!

    • Nami April 28, 2011, 1:57 pm

      Hi Beth! Great to hear from you! I’ve been waiting for your travel report! Yeah, I’d be surprise if an international market in Israel carries Shiso…

  • Nami April 28, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Hi Jill! I thought Paris has everything for food! Just kidding. =P Thank you for your nice comment Jill!

  • Sissi May 2, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Congratulations for this wonderful blog I have been reading for some time! I will definitely try this sauce. I love shiso (shiso shochu too…) and I feel this sauce will be simply delicious! A friend has very kindly brought me some shiso grains from her travel to Japan (quite difficult to get in Switzerland), so I hope I’ll be able to use my own balcony-grown shiso soon!

    • Nami May 3, 2011, 2:17 am

      Hi Sissi! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving the kind message. How nice – now you can grow your ogranc Shiso. :-) I hope you will like the sauce. If you already like Shiso, I’m sure you will fall in love with the sauce! ;-)

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 9, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Oh, this looks totally adorable! Too bad I haven’t seen any shiso leaves around here … :( Is there something I could use to replace them if I can’t find any at all?

    • Nami May 10, 2011, 1:52 am

      Hi Kath, I heard Koreans use Shiso too. Maybe your Asian market is Korean owned? Shiso is VERY unique taste that I don’t find anything to replace with. Even basil is not the same… I would consider planting seeds IF we don’t have occasional visits by deer and other wild animals. It’s quite expensive here too like $.10 per leaf… Sorry this is such a specific recipe.

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) May 11, 2011, 4:36 am

    Hi Nami, thank you so muchfor telling me! I don’t know where the owners of that Asian market come from, but it’s the biggest one in Heidelberg and the only one that sells a variety of products from different Asian countries … Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, India, … They also have an amazing assortment of frozen seafood and a lot of fresh stuff as well, this is why I love it so much. But I think if I can’t get shiso there, I won’t get it anywhere. :( Perhaps I can order shiso seeds on Amazon and try to grow it? ;)

    • Nami May 12, 2011, 2:42 pm

      Hi Kath! I’m happy to hear you like Asian food. It’s such a nice thing to hear from non-Asian person, really. Haha, I would…considering how much money I spend on Shiso at the store. But we live in such a windy hill that nothing will grow, plus wild animals. I heard from friends who grow Shiso that it gives so many shiso leaves… LOL. Either Shiso heaven or you will be selling shiso at your local Asian store. LOL. :-D

  • jen August 27, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I got a shiso plant this year for my garden and it’s growing like crazy! I love it!
    I chop it and toss it in salads, it adds such a unique flavor to whatever I use it in.
    I want to try shiso pesto too – especially since my plant is so prolific!
    Going to make this sauce now.
    I’m so happy!

    • Nami August 28, 2013, 2:01 pm

      Hi Jen! I’m so jealous of your shiso in your garden! I heard it grows nicely – I really should plant it too! I hope you enjoy the sauce. :)

  • Ilonka July 7, 2014, 5:13 pm

    Hi Nami-san,
    I am thinking of using it for yaki udon–any thoughts?

    • Nami July 7, 2014, 6:11 pm

      Hi Ilonka! I love that idea! :)

      • Ilonka July 9, 2014, 6:47 am

        Will try it this week and will report back!!!

        • Nami July 9, 2014, 7:02 pm

          Thanks! Hope you enjoy! :)

          • Ilonka July 16, 2014, 7:23 am

            It was yummy–lighter than the usual Yakisoba sauce and really flavorful. Added strips of fresh shiso as well–it was a hit :).

            • Nami July 16, 2014, 9:23 am

              Thank you so much for letting me know! Fresh shiso makes it to another level of deliciousness. <3 Thank you Ilonka!

  • nancy nakatsuka September 23, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Hi – I have a question – is there a way to grow shiso leaves from a single leaf ? I took some leaves home with me after eating sushi – the leaves were part of the ingredient / decoration on my plate. I have made this sauce before and my husband loves it. He puts it on his grilled salmon.

    • Nami September 24, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Hi Nancy! I’m not too sure. I looked up on the internet to see if anyone tried but I couldn’t find. I think you will need seeds to start. Shiso garlic soy sauce is really delicious. I’m so happy to hear your husband enjoyed it. I’m hoping to grow shiso too… Sorry I can’t help much. :(