November 5, 2004

seeds too!

Tuesday, November 2

Last week at our local farmer's market, I found a bag of shisonomi or shiso seeds on stalks. It was the same place where I always get shiso leaves, but it was my first time I saw the seeds over here. I love shiso seeds as much as its leaves, so I didn't wait for even a second to get the last bag they had for the day.

I don't know so much about how to cook shiso seeds, to tell you the truth; to me they almost always come in the form of pickles, or more precisely just salted shiso seeds that my mom would make when we have a whole bunch of seeds on the shiso plants in our yard. It is always made by mom, so I wasn't quite sure how to make the salted shiso seeds - well, I could have easily looked for a recipe on the net, but instead I emailed mom and asked her how she would do it.

She told me a few slightly different preparation methods, but the bottom line is you first need to take the excess bitterness out of the seeds and then salt them. I gingerly plucked seeds from the stalks and radically salted them, left sit overnight, then rinse them well under running water and gently tossed in sea salt.

They are supposed to keep quite well in the fridge, and for a time being I will have a pleasure of having some freshly cooked rice with some salted shisonomi for breakfast. A year ago when I was deprived of shiso, I never even imagine that this would be possible.


Reid said...

Hi Chika,

I've never eaten shiso seeds before, do they have the same sort of spicy, bitterness to them as the leaves do? I've had shiso leaf, but normally eat them pickled.

chika said...

Hi Reid,
sorry for my slow response :(
seeds have the same taste profile as leaves, but in a more concentrated way I guess. Leaves are great fresh (uncooked/unpickled) as garnish! I don't think I have ever had shiso seeds raw, though... I'm not sure.

Cc said...

Hello Chika,

Apart from the interesting and informative reads, I really love your pictures!!

The rice in your first picture (of the rice balls) are just gorgeous! Every grain is visible and it is somewhat shimmery and glistening! Is is because of the type of rice you use? Koshihikari?

Steaming rice and pickles is my favourite morning food but I have them as comfort food at nights too!

Thank you :-) 

Posted by Cc

Anonymous said...

thanks for the simple seed pickling tip! i have a bumper crop of shiso and shiso seeds this year--i have been trying to figure out how to use them and preserve them!