Shiso is a Japanese herb whose taste is mysterious (yet surely delicious) to newcomers! Somewhere between mint, basil and moreso coriander, with a citrusy hit, its flavour is unique, aromatic and delicate so that it compliments everything from fried foods to lean sushi, and dishes with robust flavour.
In fact shiso is actually a member of the mint family, and just like mint is very easy to grow in a container in full sunshine. What’s more, the teardrop shaped leaves come in vibrant green and purple, so look as great in the garden as they do on a plate!
For the health-conscious, shiso is full of nutritious benefits. Its leaves contain calcium, iron, and vitamin C and are even used in natural herbal medicines to treat nausea, abdominal cramps, asthma and coughs; meanwhile its seeds are a rich source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid which supports a healthy immune system.
So, why not try an extremely healthy shiso recipe as we dive into summer? My Salmon Special Chirashi Zushi combines shiso with protein-filled salmon, iodine-rich nori and rice, a healthy carbohydrate, to make a balanced and really tasty summer meal.
Sushi lovers really must try this dish which is so easy to create as a fast, healthy summer lunch dish!
Salmon Special Chirashi Zushi
2 cups cooked sushi rice
120g sashimi salmon
120g slightly salted wild salmon
120g ikura salmon roe
7 sheets shiso leaves or watercress
1 dried nori sheets
2 good quality organic eggs (for bright yellow colour)
½ dashi powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
Extra soy sauce and wasabi paste to taste
1. Prepare sushi rice.
2. Heat a large frying pan. Beat the eggs with dashi powder, mirin and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add a little oil into the pan and pour half the egg mixture and run the egg all over the pan as if making a thin pancake. Cook for 10 seconds then turn over and cook another 5 seconds. Repeat the same with the rest of the beaten egg. Leave it aside to cool. Slice thinly.
3. Pour 1 tsp soy sauce & 1 tsp mirin into salmon roe and the same with sashimi salmon and marinate them for at least 30minutes up to 2 hours in the fridge.
4. Grill the salted salmon for 5 minutes, then turn over and cook further 3 minutes or until just cooked. Leave it to cool then separate pieces into large flakes with your hands
5. Slice the sashimi salmon into half of the normal sashimi size (small bite size).
6. Chop shiso leaves thinly or tear off watercress. Cut nori sheets into very thin slices.
7. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan for about 5 minutes or until they start colouring to golden.
8. Gently mix sushi rice, grilled salmon, a half of sliced egg, a half of shiso leaves or water cress and sesame seeds until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed. And then add a half of salmon roe and very gently folding them in and spread the roe.
10. Decorate the sliced sashimi salmon, remaining salmon roe, egg and the shiso or watercress on top of the rice and eggs. Sprinkle the nori just before serving . Serve with soy sauce and wasabi paste on the side.