SHISO - Japanese Green (Perilla) seeds

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(Perilla frutescens)

Shiso ‘Aoshiso’ (Perilla) is the typical green leaf variety of Perilla used extensively in Japan and all over Asia to season vegetables, rice, soups, fish, etc. The leaves make for exquisite decoration. It is finely sliced with ginger and added to salads, sautéed vegetables, sashimi, tempura and sushi.

Shiso, equally well known as Perilla, has a wonderfully complex aroma. The taste is almost always quite hard to describe; the words cinnamon, basil, anise, and citrus pop up in the attempts. 

Occasionally referred to as Japanese Basil, it is useful as a flavorful herb in various European dishes. Its flavour and fragrance go well with egg, fish and meat. 

Shiso can be grown to baby leaf stage or left to grow to maturity: the taste is best appreciated raw in salads and sandwiches. This savoury herb can be used in place of basil, even as a pizza topping. Wrap around rice balls, cheese or salmon. Chop and mix with ginger root in stir-fries or sprinkle over a hot steak. It is great for sauces and can be used dried to flavour rice. 

It is worth noting that Perilla is a beautiful plant often grown simply for its ornamental value. Both green and red varieties resemble a coleus plant. This attractive herb is an excellent addition to a herb garden or can be used as an ornamental in containers or the border. It has a pleasant odour and is easy to grow. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies, and the foliage will last all through summer and into autumn. This plant is annual reach up-to 80cm height. 

How to Grow

Sow in Spring and Summer, Sow 2mm or barely cover with soil as seeds need light to germinate at 20-22 degrees C. You would see that seedlings emerge in 7-30 days depending upon weather conditions. For best germination, you are recommended to chill seeds in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) for 3 days in moist sand/ friable soil medium and then soak seed overnight in warm water. 

Propagation notes will be supplied with a seed packet.


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