Green shiso with chili and other garnishes
What Is Shiso And How Is It Used?
Shiso, or perilla, is the inspiration behind the green plastic leaves in sushi packs. It's a heart-shaped, aromatic herb with a rich history and diverse culinary uses.
Although a staple in Japanese cuisine, shiso hails from China. Its uses extend well beyond decoration — with a crunchy texture and unique taste, it complements a variety of dishes.
Shiso comes in two varieties: green and red. Green shiso is milder, with a lemony, mint-like flavor, making it ideal for adding a refreshing twist to salads, ramen, and sushi.
Red shiso has a bold, bitter taste and is used mostly for presentation. It brings a splash of color to pickles and works as a natural dye in foods like umeboshi and shiso juice.
Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K, shiso offers health benefits, too. It also has antibacterial properties and was traditionally used to treat food poisoning and colds.
If you can't find any to buy, you can try growing your own. Shiso thrives with just sunlight, well-drained soil, and a little care, making it an easy and fruitful garden project.

In essence, shiso is more than a pretty leaf; it's an ancient cultural treasure with a wide variety of uses, from enhancing your favorite dishes to bolstering your health.