Can anyone enlighten me regarding the different varieties/forms/flavours of this herb? I'n confused as I keep coming across quite different plants with the same name. Thanks in advance.
The red one is Japanese and is supposed to be milder. The green one is Korean, and is a weed in our garden. We ate a good bit of this summer now that I have finally ID'd it. Donna
There is also the bronze perilla, a Vietnamese variety [Viet: tÃa-tÃ´].
I've just got back from Japan and had some experience with the Shiso plant.
Both the red and green forms are grown and used in Japan.
The green can be used as a full adult leaf for decoration, eg putting grated daikon on it. Or used as a wrap for food.
The red is more usually used for pickling as the red leaches out and colours food, such as the "umeboshi" pickled "plum" of Japan. Also the sprouts of the red shiso can be used as decoration, much like a red coloured alfalfa in appearance but not taste. I believe the seed pods can be used fried in tempura too.
I'm aware of a bronze variety but I don't know where that one comes from or how it's used.
Hope this helps.
I just saw them using this leave on the cooking channel. I live in SAN ANTONIO, TX and would like to find a source for seeds or plants. Anyone know where to get some?
tampede--If you send me a SASE I'll send you some seeds. My mom is Japanese and I have LOTS, both red and green. Email me through gardenweb if you're still interested.
There are both Japanese and Korean version of the green perilla. The Korean perilla has larger leaves, and used as wrapping. Find a recipe of Korean bulgogi, then wrap the cooked meat in the leaf, along with a small slice of fresh garlic and a slice of green pepper.
I have some of them growing in my garden. I used them in my sandwiches as a substitute for lettuce LOL.
The main issue with growing perilla is the low germination rate. It is said that the seeds must be stored for about 3 months in a refrigerator to break their dormancy. I haven't tried that trick yet though.
Perilla is a vigorous self-seeder in most cases, though not always easy to sow yourself from seed. They do fairly well in shade, and don't particularly like lots of direct sun.
I have the red variety in my container garden, though I prefer the green for eating. I saved a bunch of seeds, but it seems hundreds of them managed to find their way into other containers and are 2 inches high right now.