Perilla

This herb is described as a popular, spicily aromatic culinary herb that is used fresh in salads and for pickling and flavouring in my The Complete Book of Herbs book. I have to admit to never having heard of the word perilla before today but I have heard of the culinary term shiso! It is a hardy, branched annual which grows to 1.2m with broadly ovate, serrated leaves, which vary in colour from green to red and purple. The leaf edges may be curled while the tiny white to purple flowers are borne in dense spikes about 10cm long.

The varieties include green cumin; purple cumin; aojiso (for use with sashimi), red or akajiso, kleannip or Korean and Thai.

Perilla flourishes in moist well drained soils enriched with compost. Plant seed in spring when the soil has warmed. Pinch out the initial flower spikes to encourage bushy growth. Harvest the leaves in summer and use them fresh or dried. Harvest flower spikes when they are fully developed and the seed in autumn.

The red variety of perilla is more often used for culinary purposes than the green. (Be aware that excessive handling of the leaves can cause dermatitis). A volatile oil in the leaves contains a compound that is 2000 sweeter than sugar and is used as an artificial sweetener in Japan.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Lavender and Lime Signature

Top of Page

No votes yet.
Please wait...

24 thoughts on “Perilla

  1. I love this herb and it is used in a lot of Japanese dishes. Now my only problem is finding that here in HK.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. One would think you would find it easily there – maybe you have to ask for it using the Japanese name?

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  2. Tandy, I hadn’t heard of shiso until I ate it at a restaurant lately! Thanks for the information, I was wondering what it was!

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. this was a whole new learning curve for me!

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  3. Wonderful post.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. thank you!

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  4. You read my mind, Tandy! I intend on posting about the abundance of these pungent leaves from Pops garden. Our family loves them as part of lettuce wraps + “Perilla Kimchi.” Lovely post, my friend!

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. so looking forward to your recipe!

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  5. Interesting, Tandy! Enjoy th etime in PE!

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. thanks Pink 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  6. Well, I’ve never heard of it! Must get some, if only to try it out! Thanks, Tandy.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. I too will be on the look out for it 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  7. Hi Tandy, yup I’ve grown it 🙂 It was ok, not a wow for taste though, I should probably give it another go

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. thanks for sharing that Claire 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  8. I’ve heard of shiso before for sure but have never tasted it! You’ve definitely intrigued me with this post.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. I too am intrigued 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  9. This is so funny Tandy, just this past Monday, I was holding a big bag of these leaves! 😛

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. that is so funny!

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  10. First time learning of this herb 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. me too 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  11. I haven’t got a lot to say about perilla. I clicked the “like” button, but it doesn’t seem to indicate that I had done that. Any way, good to read your stuff as ever.

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. I wonder why my like button did not work!?

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  12. Never heard of it before either.
    🙂 Mandy

    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
    1. nice to learn something new Mandy 🙂

      No votes yet.
      Please wait...

I would love to hear from you ♥

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge