Shiso is called Perilla and has also been called beefsteak. The plant can be found in three colors (purple, green and a bicolor), all of which are as ornamental as they are tasty.
Shiso self-seeds readily in the garden, but because of its shallow root system, it’s easy to weed out. In Japan, purple shiso is used to color the pickled ginger served with sashimi. Shiso’s versatile flavor, a combination of cilantro and mint with spicy overtones, is as good with fresh fruit as it is with savory seafood and rice dishes.
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 large peach, peeled and chopped
¼ cup green or purple shiso, chopped
Pinch of salt
Combine cucumbers and vinegar; let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.
Add peach, shiso and salt. Toss to combine.
Shiso is also great dried and then sprinkled into a stir-fry dish.