You may have encountered green shiso when eating sushi, but have you heard of red shiso?
Red shiso is a variety of perilla, an herb in the same botanical family as mint. In terms of flavor, red shiso is noted for its mildly minty and earthy aroma and has been compared to bitter dark red cherry. Though it is far less commonly used than its green counterpart, some popular applications of red shiso include making aka shiso (red perilla) juice and dyeing foods a red color. Umeboshi (pickled plums) and pickled ginger get their signature pink hue from red shiso!
This simple recipe for red shiso syrup jelly uses just three ingredients plus water and only requires a microwave, making it ideal for those living in dorms or cooking with children. To make these refreshing jellies, start by preparing your gelatin mixture. Combine 5g of powdered gelatin with 2 tbsp of water, then microwave it for 30 seconds. For a vegan alternative, use agar-agar in place of gelatin. Separately, dissolve 2 tbsp of sugar into 50ml of red shiso syrup. Lastly, combine the gelatin and syrup mixtures into 200ml of water and stir well. Pour into the molds of your choice and set in the fridge until firm.
When you’re ready to serve, pop the jellies out of their molds and enjoy! For extra flair, feel free to add fresh fruits inside or on top of the jelly. These vibrant, rose-colored desserts are the perfect pick-me-up on hot summer days.
- 5g powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- 50ml red shiso syrup
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 200ml carbonated or flat water
- Mix the gelatin with 2 tbsp of water and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Separately, dissolve the sugar in the red shiso syrup.
- Combine the gelatin and sweetened red shiso syrup from steps 1 and 2 with the carbonated/flat water. Mix well.
- Pour into molds and cool in the fridge until firm.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.