Japanese Home Cooking-I love shiso.

I love shiso. Shiso is a leafy herb that is used in Japanese cooking to add flavor, aroma and color. It is also known as perilla or beefsteak plant. The green type or aojiso (green shiso) is used in plating sashimi along with daikon. The flower of the shiso is also used with wasabi and shoyu to dip your sashimi in. Shiso is also used in salads, goes well with sliced tomatoes and onions, pasta and meat dishes. The purple type or akajiso (red shiso) is used in the flavoring and coloring of umeboshi (pickled plum). If someone asked me to explain what it’s like I would have to say that it is similar to the mint or basil. But it really has a flavor and aroma of its own.

In my past article I talked about a fried chicken dish that uses shiso. I have another chicken and shiso dish that I would like to share with you. My husband does some work with the Tokyo American Club, currently in Shinagawa, and picked up this very simple pupu recipe using shiso leaves, grilled chicken, cream cheese and tonkatsu sauce. It is very easy to make. I have not seen it personally nor have I tasted Tokyo American Club’s version so the tonkatsu sauce could be oyster sauce for all I know. But when he came home from his business trip and created the dish for us, the tonkatsu sauce went so well with the pupu that in our home, we use tonkatsu sauce. So here goes:

Shiso, chicken and cream cheese pupu

Ingredients (pupu for two-four persons, to be served at room temperature):

Two packs of shiso leaves (they usually sell with about 8-10 leaves in each pack)
One large chicken breast
Small cubes of cream cheese
Tonkatsu sauce

The shiso is cleaned and dried and layed out on a platter.
The chicken breast can be fried in a pan or grilled. I prefer grilled with salt and pepper. Then dice the chicken into bite size cubes.
Place one piece of chicken on one leaf of shiso, then place a cube of cream cheese and then a dab of tonkatsu sauce. So easy and so oishii! And that shiso flavor…perfect!

Honolulu Festival

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