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Shiso

Perilla frutescens var. crispa

Shiso

Details

In English, it is often called the “beefsteak plant” because purple-leaf varieties resemble the blood-red color of meat. Red-leaf types are sometimes called “purple mint.” The Japanese name shiso became part of the English lexicon in the 1990s, owing to the growing popularity of sushi.

 

Culinary Uses

Red shiso is used to make umeboshi (pickled plums) to give the plums a red color. The leaves turn bright red when steeped in umezu, the vinegary brine that results as a byproduct of pickling plums. It can also be combined with umezu to make certain types of sushi. It is used to create a sweet, red juice in the summer. 

 

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