Tangy, fragrant, and flavorful, Yukari (Shiso Rice Seasoning) is made of dried red shiso leaves and salt. Sprinkle this traditional Japanese-style seasoning over rice, pasta, and salads.
Growing up, I always like this tangy, fragrant, and flavorful rice seasoning called Yukari (ゆかり). My mom called it the edible magic dust because I’d finish up my entire bento box whenever she sprinkled Yukari on the steamed rice. It’s one of the nostalgic food memories I keep close to my heart. Today, we’ll make this shiso rice seasoning from scratch!
What is Yukari (Shiso Rice Seasoning)
Made of dried red shiso leaves and salt, Yukari (ゆかり) is considered a type of Furikake (Japanese rice seasoning). I’ve also shared the classic version of Furikake made with leftover kombu and katsuobushi.
Traditionally, rice seasoning is used as a nutritional supplement for cooked rice, by providing extra minerals, proteins, or to increase one’s appetite. These days it is becoming a popular, everyday condiment that can be used to flavor just about anything.
In my opinion, Yukari is especially unique because of its striking deep purple hue. The color itself enhance the look and taste of a dish instantly.
If you’re familiar with the Japanese language, you might wonder why is it named “yukari.” Yukari has a few meanings in Japanese but it is most commonly used as a female name. I have a couple of friends whose names are Yukari.
“Yukari” is actually the product name by Mishima brand (above). You can also call it aka shiso furikake (赤紫蘇ふりかけ), but the majority of people call this type of furikake “Yukari”.
How to Make Yukari (Shiso Rice Seasoning)
The only ingredient you will need is red shiso leaves. They look like this.
It’s a bit of a waste to make yukari straight from the fresh herb, so I would make Umeboshi (pickled plums) or Aka Shiso Juice first before I repurpose the used red shiso leaves for making Yukari.
With the used red shiso leaves, all you need to do is to dry them! There are two ways to do it.
- Simply dry them outside for 2 days
- Use dehydrater to dry for 2 hours
The first option is for everyone. I bought this mesh hanging dry net on Amazon when I made Umeboshi and it was also useful for drying the red shiso leaves.
A bit creepy, isn’t it? Many of my Instagram followers told me that they looked like scorpions. I love their vivid imagination, but don’t let it stop you from making this delicious seasoning at home.
The second option is for those who have a dehydrator or have an oven with the dehydrator function. I actually never paid attention to my oven menus and Mr. JOC pointed out that our oven had one this year. I somehow didn’t notice the option even though I have had this oven for several years already!
The dehydrator temperature is 140ºF (60ºC) in my oven and I let the leaves dry until the leaves are really crunchy, about 2 hours.
Once the red shiso leaves are dry and crunchy, it’s time to throw them into the food processor and process them until powdery!
Add kosher salt or sea salt to your liking, and that’s it! Here we have a very natural, tangy, and addicting rice seasoning!
How to Use Yukari (Shiso Rice Seasoing)
If you have never tried this before, then you must first sprinkle some Yukari over the steamed rice and enjoy it.
The plain rice suddenly gets very appetizing, and that’s the very essence of shiso! You can also mix Yukari with steamed rice, and then make it into rice balls. I LOVE yukari onigiri.
Besides flavoring the rice, you can also use Yukari as an all-purpose seasoning. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas:
- Over noodles or pastas
- Over fish or chicken
- Sprinkle on sashimi bowls or poke
- Sprinkle on avocado toast
- Over boiled eggs
- On steamed veggies or salads
- Over tofu
- Sprinkle on popcorn
How Long Does Yukari Last?
As long as the seasoning is stored in a sealed container in a dry, cool place. it can last up to a year. But if you managed to make extra jars, why not share them with friends and family. Yukari makes a thoughtful, delicious hostess gift.
Have fun using this homemade rice seasoning!
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Yukari (Shiso Rice Seasoning)
- used red shiso leaves (perilla) (drained well)
To Use Shiso Leaves from Making Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums)
- Place the used shiso leaves over a strainer that is set above a bowl/measuring cup, and let drain.
- Squeeze the liquid out (this liquid is homemade Umezu or Ume Plum Vinegar) and transfer the drained shiso on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
To Use Red Shiso Leaves from Making Aka Shiso Juice
- Take out the used shiso leaves and drain well.
To Dry Shiso Leaves
- You have two options to dry the shiso. Method 1: Use a dehydrator or the dehydrator mode (140ºF/60ºC) of your oven to dry the leaves for 2-3 hours. Method 2: You can also dry the shiso in the breezy air outside (I recommend this drying rack net) for 2 days until they dry out completely.
To Process Shiso Leaves in Food Processor
- Put the dried shiso in the food processor and process until it becomes a fine powder.
- Transfer to airtight jars and add salt to your liking. Salt tends to sink down, so mix well before you use it.
- Sprinkle over rice to enjoy! You can also use in salads, pasta, mixed rice, and more!
- You can keep the jars in a cool dark place for a year.