About Shiso Edit
Shiso, or perilla, is a genus of annual herb that is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. In mild climates the plant reseeds itself. There are both green-leafed and purple-leafed varieties which are generally recognized as separate species by botanists. The leaves resemble stinging nettle leaves, being slightly rounder in shape. It is also widely known as the Beefsteak plant. Its essential oils provide for a strong taste whose intensity might be compared to that of mint or fennel. It is considered rich in minerals and vitamins, has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods.
It is sometimes known as purple mint, Japanese basil, or wild coleus (like basil and coleus, it is a member of the mint family).
The Japanese call the green type aojiso (青紫蘇), aoba ("green leaf"), ōba (corruption of aoba) or aoshiso and often eat it with sashimi or cut into thin strips in salads, spaghetti, and meat and fish dishes. It is also used as a flavorful herb in a variety of dishes, even as a pizza topping (initially it was used in place of basil).