Apr. 19th, 2011

coraa: (more food love)
Bad news: My thyme died. Alas, poor thyme....

Good news: That frees up a pot for my brand new shiso seeds!

For those of you who aren't familiar, shiso (in this case, specifically ao shiso, which I believe means green shiso) is an herb used in Japanese cooking. Also possibly other Asian cuisines? But I know it from Japanese cooking.

Despite shiso being part of one of my favorite flavor combinations ever (shiso and umeboshi), I find it difficult to describe. Describing shiso to someone who hasn't had it is sort of like trying to describe mint to someone who's never had it: you wind up saying, "It's... minty, and sort of... mint-flavored." I generally wind up sounding like something out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: it's an herb almost but not quite entirely unlike basil. Or I say, it tastes a little bit like basil and a little bit like mint and a little bit like green nettles, but mostly it tastes... like... shiso.

If you get the chance to order an ume-shiso roll at a sushi restaurant (it will generally be vegetarian, as it is shiso herb and pickled plum), that will give you an idea.

Anyway! I adore shiso, and it's kind of expensive to buy fresh. (Not much more expensive than any other herb, but not available at every grocery store, so both a bit expensive and a bit inconvenient.) So last time I was at Uwajimaya, I picked up a packet of seeds.

They are now (I hope) happily germinating in my pot. I hope I don't wind up killing them too.

Wish me luck!

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coraa

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