Shiso (Perilla) is a herb (mint family) used in salad, toppings, or garnish in Japanese cooking. It has a unique fragrance and flavor loved by the Japanese.
What is Shiso?
Shiso (しそ, 紫蘇) is now the common name for the Asian culinary herb, seed (spice), or entire annual plant of Perilla frutescens variety crispa, belonging to the mint family. In Japanese, it’s also known as Ooba (大葉).
- Weight – Each shiso leaf is roughly 10 grams.
- Substitute – There is nothing like the taste and texture of Shiso. It’s really unfortunate that this Japanese herb is hard to find outside of Japanese grocery stores.
Where To Buy Shiso
Japanese grocery stores usually carry them in their produce section; however, it’s rare to find them in Asian grocery stores (except for a few JOC readers who told me their Asian market carries it).
Grow Your Own Shiso
Some JOC readers grow their own shiso and Don, one of JOC readers, shared this information about Japanese seeding company Kitazawa Seed Co. in California (you can shop online). Growing your own shiso is very easy, so give it a try! I will be planting one day when I have a little more time…
Recipes Using Shiso