Chef's Pick Care Tips
Shiso/Perilla Growing Tips
Site: These plants should be grown, 6 to 12 inches apart, in well-drained, moist soil and have exposure to sun half the day or more. In warm, humid weather, these plants grow quickly and should have their tops pinched off to maintain a neat appearance. Perilla grows in any light from shade to full sun.
Growing: After the first year, they easily self-seed.
Harvesting: Pinch them back as they grow to make the plant bushy.
Culinary Uses: Used as a sweet-spicy flavoring for oriental dishes such as stir fries, with raw fish and sliced cucumber, in vegetable dishes, rice and soups. Red perilla is used as a red or pink food coloring, for pickling fruit and vegetables, especially preserved ginger and pickled sour plums, and as a dried powder to be used as a side dish with rice, as an ingredient in cake mixes and as a flavoring in beverages, as a condiment with sashimi. The sprouts can be used as a garnish.
Green perilla or oba, is used as a vegetable, for wrapping rice cake, in salads and tempura, and go well with sweet potato. The seeds of perilla are used to make oil, and to flavour foods, especially pickles. Seeds (called egoma) can be used on baked goods, like sesame seeds. The flower heads are used as a condiment. The oil from the seeds resembles Linseed oil, and is used as a food flavoring in confectionery and sauces.
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