What is Red Shiso (Perilla) and How to Enjoy it

What's Red Shiso?

Akajiso(赤紫蘇) in Japanese, red shiso or purple shiso,  also called perilla in the west, is a plant of the mint family (see the photo above on the left). It is a quintessential herb for Japanese cuisine and used in many ways.

Red shiso is often used to color foods and for pickling.



This dish above called shibazuke(柴漬け) is common pickled vegetables made with red shiso leaves, and it is thought to have been made for more than 800 years since the Buddhist monk in Kyoto first made it. Red shiso helps preservation as it contains antibiotics and preservative components, as well as adding an impressive color.


Umeboshi with Red Shiso

A typical Japanese food, umeboshi (pickled Japanese plums) are often pickled with red shiso leaves.


Umeboshi being pickled in a jar


When the pickled umeboshi are removed from the jar ,the shiso leaves are also taken out and dried, then crushed to eat. 



Read about Ume more from here

Seasonal Ume (梅,Japanese Apricot or Plum ) Preserving




How to Eat the Dried Red Shiso 

Traditionally, the crushed red shiso leaves have been served to garnish rice, but nowadays it's also served on salads ,pasta, and added to frying butter, etc. It will surely enhance your dish, but it's difficult to describe what the flavor is like, so I'd like you to try it.

As it has already got some saltiness and sourness in it, we can use it like flavored salt.


We have this product in our shop.

Iijima Seitarou Shoten KN004: Yukari - Sundried, salt-pickled shiso leaves 



These shiso leaves are pickled with ume vinegar, which is the leftover from umeboshi making, and then dried in the sun, and finally crushed. It is made with care in a small factory with no additives added. It has an authentic and nostalgic  flavor for me.


 You can sprinkle it on sandwiches.




It's good with cheese, too.





Color your life with red shiso!! 



Red Shiso Dressing Recipe 

Red Shiso(Perilla) Dressing Recipe 




Today's Recommendations 

Dried red shiso powder 

Iijima Seitarou Shoten KN004: Yukari - Sundried, salt-pickled shiso leaves ゆかり 


We have hojicha roasted tea with dried red shiso leaves

Murasaki Shiso Hojicha from Shimane




Articles for Japanese Herbs and Plants

Seasonal Ume (梅,Japanese Apricot) Preserving

What's Yomogi (Japanese mugwort)? The History as Food and Herbal Medicine

What's Kudzu powder and How to Enjoy It 






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