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Honoring Aromatic Herbs: Green and Red Shiso

Heart shaped with saw-tooth edges, this amazing edible leaf (Perilla frutescens var. crispa) goes by other intriguing names: oba or “big leaf” in the Japanese language and perilla in Latin. Also known as Japanese mint or the beefsteak plant, shiso is a cousin of basil and mint—and, no matter what you call this fascinating leaf, Chef Jamie Simpson uses the plant in three creative ways. 

At the Bar: Chorogi Cordial Negroni

Chorogi is a type of perilla that can be used in Asian dishes to celebrate New Year’s and other special occasions. When, in its cordial form, it’s used in a refreshing negroni cocktail, its remarkable taste can truly capture your guests’ attention. Top it with red shiso for a touch of elegance and to further the flavor profile. 

Fine Dining: Tempura Shiso Leaf Sandwich

Pairing the tempura technique with the unique flavor of shiso leaf can create a new taste sensation. Add fish tartar, flowers, and emulsion to the mix. 

Country Club Dining: Shiso Lettuce Wraps

Imagine the combination: Reine des Glaces, a gorgeous French heirloom lettuce with jagged edges plus coriander, basil, mint, lemongrass, and celery—and, of course, stunning shiso.

More About Shiso

The Chef’s Garden offers flavorful shiso leaves: green shiso with its curry-like flavor and touches of cumin, cilantro, parsley, mint, and cinnamon; red shiso with its sweeter start that turns into a cinnamon-mint taste; and mixed shiso that allows you to enjoy the best of both.

We hope you enjoyed this installment of plating food techniques! 

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