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Shiso, also known as Japanese basil or mint, is an indispensable aromatic herb in Asian cuisine and is highly regarded in Japanese culinary arts. Its leaves, loaded with complex flavours and special nuances, can elevate any dish, whether used as a garnish, decoration, seasoning, or even as the star ingredient. There are several types of shiso, although the most well-known are green and purple. At Microgreens, we produce four varieties of shiso year-round: green shiso, bicolour shiso, curly green shiso, and curly purple shiso. Let’s discuss each one in detail: With an intense green hue, Green Shiso is a robust leaf brimming with flavour. This variety of Korean shiso combines refreshing mint notes with a subtle hint of anise and liquorice, creating a unique taste experience. This versatile ingredient is a perfect complement to raw fish dishes like sushi and sashimi. Additionally, it’s an excellent addition to fresh salads, cheese boards, and gourmet sandwiches, or to add a special touch to traditional Japanese dishes like tempura and yakitori. It can even be used in tacos as a substitute for the traditional tortilla. Available year-round and easily stored in cool temperatures, Green Shiso Leaf is an essential element for adding flavour and freshness. Bicolour Shiso Leaves, also of Korean origin, have a dry green colour on the upper side and purple on the underside. With a flavour reminiscent of mint, they are somewhat sweet, bitter, and umami, with a salty and tangy touch. They can be used raw, fried, or sautéed, in gels, infusions, and syrups. They pair well with chocolate, crustaceans, fatty fish, apple, cucumber, grapefruit, ants, and other insects, as well as with intense dishes and sauces like mole, nuts, and more. Curly Green Shiso Leaves originate from Japan and have an intense flavour combining mint and anise. Besides being used for sushi, sashimi, and other raw fish dishes, they can also complement other dishes like salads, meats, pasta, fish stews, or infusions. Add these chopped leaves to your tuna tartare or wrap a piece of tuna with soy sauce in a shiso leaf for an extra flavour boost. From marinating to decorating main dishes, the possibilities are endless. Rich in nutrients, these leaves also have anti-allergic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. With a distinctive cumin-like flavour, strong and somewhat spicy, Curly Purple Shiso Leaves bring a truly unique touch. This Japanese variety is known for its versatility and pronounced flavour; they can be fried in tempura (like peixinho da horta), sautéed, or used as a decoration to add elegance and flavour to your dishes, aromatic cocktails, or mocktails. In addition to pairing well with fish and seafood dishes, like the other leaves, Curly Purple Shiso Leaves also perfectly complement game dishes (pheasant, goose, pigeon, and quail) and mushrooms. They are an excellent decorative option, especially in autumn dishes or as a natural dye.