Perilla in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Perilla is a genus of annual herb that is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. In mild climates the plant reseeds itself.
The leaves, which are rich in calcium and iron, are used for seasoning, coloring, pickling and garnishing. Shiso leaves can be used whole or cut into strips. Japanese chefs add red perilla to tofu or bean curd dishes or use it wrapped around pieces of meat.
The leaves are always used fresh, but can be frozen.
The red perilla has an anise flavor and slightly less spicy than the green variety, which tastes more like cinnamon.
The plant is native to South East and East Asia.