The unique flavour and aroma of shiso captivated me the first time I had a taste of the little green leaf. When I was young, my parents took me to a quaint Japanese restaurant one day and on the plate of sashimi we ordered sat an odd-looking green leaf with a slightly prickly texture and irregular edges. My mom picked it up enthusiastically and waved it in front of my face with mischievous excitement. After telling me what the leaf was, she urged me to try. I did. I fell in love with it instantaneously.
What is shiso? A whole leaf of green shiso is often seen as a wasabi wrap. As part of the mint family, the shiso leaf’s citrusy and distinct fragrance contributed to its popularity in both Japan and Canada. How it tastes, however, can only be discovered by eating it. Ochazuke, or green tea with rice, is a common household dish frequently served after having too much beer, for its lightness and mellow flavours soothe the tummy.
Recreate shiso’s unique flavour in this easy recipe by making fragrant tea-soaked rice and dressing it with chopped shiso, seasoned seaweed, and dried fish flakes. Add a pinch of shiso to the buttery lemon cod after a quick pan sear for a savoury experience of Japanese flavours!
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes. SERVINGS: 1
- 250 g Alaskan cod
- 1 sheet dried seaweed
- 2 shiso leaves
- 1 ume shiso (pickled plum)
- 1 stalk scallion
- 1 serving rice
- 1 genmaicha (rice green tea)
- 1 pack bonito flakes (dried fish flakes)
- 1 tsp ponzu sauce
- 1/2 tsp wasabi (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Marinate the cod – gently slice the cod and drizzle lemon juice evenly over the fish. On both sides, sprinkle 2-3 pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Prepare the ingredients – wash and dry all produce; finely chop scallion and shiso leaves. Cut seaweed into thin slices approximately 3-4mm wide.
- In a rice cooker or a small pot, make the rice. Cook for about 15 minutes or until absorbed and soft. Once rice is done, combine with salt, scallions, seaweed, and 1 chopped shiso leaf.
- Steep genmaicha for at least 5 minutes.
- In a frying pan on medium heat, melt butter without browning. Pat cod dry with a paper towel. Cook till fish is opaque and golden brown, or 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a plate and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped shiso leaf before serving. TIP: To create a crispy exterior with seafood, pat the fish dry before searing. Drying the skin removes moisture and allows the skin to get crispy. Add that texture to your fish!
- Add hot tea to the bowl with ponzu sauce and/or wasabi. Garnish with bonito flakes and ume shiso.
Want a vegetarian option? Simply make the ochazuke without bonito flakes and cod!
Try out the recipe and let me know what you think! You can also check out my other recipe for a fail-safe beef stew! Bon appétit!
Until next time!