Shiso: so she ended, the summer

Summer’s end.…from anticipation in May,
temptation in late June to early July,
satisfaction in August,
suspecting the transitory state of life in September,
realizing in October that it’s time to turn the heat on!
This post is only the (pictorial) progress of a couple of shiso plants in one summer. has a new “gallery” format. See what you think of the “mosaic tiling.”


Kimchi, Soba, and Pesto

My recent casual but frequent abuse use of umeboshi, the sour salty pickled plums loved in Japan, set in motion a series of meals involving kimchi and fresh Korean soba noodles. Little Tess went to the Galleria to pick up some more umeboshi for me and saw that they were selling the same brand of fresh soba she loved in California. Like any good shopper who doesn’t stick to her list she fell for a container of kimchi which she’d been craving.

Thighs: onion, umeboshi and shiso

This recipe is an interesting variation of the classic combination of umeboshi and shiso with chicken. By adding sauteed onions to a paste made with umeboshi and shiso, the flavor becomes richer, a little like a French sauce, yet clearly retaining its Japanese character. This chicken is roasted in the oven so it’s easy to prepare, but tastes as if you spent hours in the kitchen.

Umeboshi Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Vacation: Fourth of July!! Grilling, and pool, and family party time! mmmmm…: chicken breast rolls filled with umeboshi and shiso. Sounds very exotic, but everyone loves this recipe.

Many thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for inviting us to their beautiful home in Missouri. They had to put in a few appearances at work, we prepared food for dinner. My brother has a “secret” grilling technique for indirect heat on a Weber kettle grill: perfect for this recipe. He covers the charcoal with a cheap pizza pan punched with holes so the heat of the grill is tempered.

A Shiso Watch—telling time in the garden

A garden, if only a few pots of plants, follows its own pace. In spite of the very hot dry weather during this past week, my herbs have produced a growth spurt. It was time to pinch the top growth of leaf pairs to encourage the plants to become bushy, and to stop early flowering. I look on this event as the first small harvest. And at least a simple lunch…

Wafu Spaghetti:
Shiso, Miso,
Tomato Pasto
with Cheese

Shiso Watch 2012

While I have been studying Japanese cooking, shiso has become a significant summer flavor. It’s easy to grow, and has a role in lots of recipes. I think it will be of interest to see how well they grow over this season and what use I can make of the leaves.
I’ll add to this post as the plants grow.
In the meantime, click the thumbnails for links to recipes.

Herb Fried Rice

https://1tess.wordpress.comThis recipe was originally posted with Miso Marinated Beef Steak, but I like it so much that it deserves its own post.
To make stir-fried rice use leftover rice that’s been in the fridge for at least a day. The grains become firm and dry making them much easier to separate as you stir your fry.

Remember the Frugal Gourmet: “Hot wok, cold oil: foods won’t stick!”

This is a tip worth following to make a simple, not-greasy, light and fresh tasting fried rice…

Variation of Chicken with Umeboshi
We enjoyed the sasami no ume-shiso so much that I wanted to make them again, but with a less fussy method. This time I began with skinless, boneless chicken breasts rather than the fillets. I had some discussion with one of my readers and thought about making the dish as chicken rolls which could be sliced after grilling them. Slicing the rolls reveals the pretty spiral design which looks like you spent all day in the kitchen. Give it a try: it’s a great way to share with a crowd.


Names for Shiso:
Latin: Perilla frutescens in the Lamiaceae or mint family; Mints (including shiso, catnip, and basil and others) can be identified by their square, hairy stems.
Chinese: ao geeso (green), aka geeso (purple)-;
Korean: deulkkae or tŭlkkae (들깨 which means ‘wild sesame’; kkaennip, kkaennip namul mean just the leaves. Korean cookbooks translated to English sometimes use these translations. Note however, perilla is not closely related to sesame. Sesamum orientale is the scientific name of sesame in the Pedaliaceae or sesame family
Japanese: shiso, oba ohba, which literally means ‘large leaves.’ Shiso seed heads are hojiso. Shiso no hana are flowers.
English: perilla, shiso, Japanese Basil, beefsteak plant/leaf, rattlesnake weed,