Red Perilla Leaves (Shiso)
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Seasonality: Year Round
Perilla or also more commonly called Shiso Leaves are an Asian herb most popular in Japan.
There are green and purple (red) varieties. The green variety has incredible flavor that has been described as curry-like and a combination of cumin, cilantro and parsley with a hint of cinnamon. The flavor of the green is stronger than the purple version; it is primarily used to wrap sushi.
These leaves are also a nice addition to Mesclun salad mixes and especially good sprinkled over cucumbers, cabbage or fish. The purple leaves are used primarily for pickling plums in Japan and Taiwan.
Choose fresh-looking leaves with good color and a clean, fresh scent. Avoid any brown spots or wilted leaves. Use soon after purchasing. To keep fresh, refrigerate in a plastic bag filled with air and securely closed. Store in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator.