Updated: Jan 16, 2022
Despite the best efforts of the British summer, my crop of shiso has really did me proud in 2021. I had several pots of the stuff growing and my baby plantlets were doing well enough that I donated some of my mature plants to friends. No matter how many leaves I harvested from the mature plants, they just kept on producing more. All they needed to keep them happy was sunlight and the occasional watery feed. So what to do with all that shiso? A big bag of it now sits in my freezer awaiting some inspiration*. I'm busy developing a shiso pesto sauce recipe but I haven't got it quite right yet, so more of that at a later date when I've got something that I think works well and that you will enjoy. Yesterday, I made up a simple shiso and soy salad dressing. This only uses abut 20g of leaves and takes about 5 minutes to make. It's quite punchy so a little goes a long way - it's not only good for salads but also for a great way to flavour tofu. I've also drizzled a little on some shredded fried chicken and that tasted very good as well.
You could buy some fresh shiso leaves to make this dressing but I would recommend you to try growing your own - it is a lot cheaper as shop sold shiso leaves are a little pricey IMHO. One mature plant will give you more than enough leaves to make this recipe and with a little TLC, the plant will grow fresh leaves ready for your next batch as well!
If you want to try this recipe, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Shiso and Soy salad dressing or simply scroll to the bottom of the page. You can find the written recipe just below.
Happy drizzling! Kurumi XXXX.
* I bag up shiso leaves and freeze them at the end of the growing season but shiso is at its absolute best when it is fresh. Frozen leaves are better in soups and stews than dressings.
Shiso & Soy salad dressing.
20g (10 - 12) fresh large shiso leaves, rinsed
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
6 tbsp veg oil
a pinch of pepper
remove any stems from the leaves, then roll up and finely slice the oba leaves
next, turn the now shredded leaves 90 degrees and finely slice again. then mince
at this point, you can either combine all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and give a good stir or shake. alternatively, you can place everything in a blender and give a little blitz
once made, your dressing, it will last at least 7 days in the fridge