All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kyabetsu to egoma no namuru / namul salad with cabbage and wild sesame leaves

The soft taste of cabbage is paired with the distinctive flavor of egoma wild sesame leaves. These two also complement each other in terms of aroma and color.


(Serves 3-4)

3 cabbage leaves (130g in photo)
3-5 egoma wild sesame leaves (5 small leaves; 2g in photo)
1 small clove garlic (only 1/8-1/4 tsp of grated garlic is needed)
1/2 tsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1/3 tsp sesame oil

Whole recipe: 39 calories; 2.1g protein; 0.3g fat; 8.6g carbohydrate; 143mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 2.4g fiber
1/4 of recipe: 10 calories; 0.5g protein; 0.1g fat; 2.2 carbohydrate; 36mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 0.8g fiber


Cut cabbage lengthwise into 4-5cm wide section, then cut crosswise into thin strips (5-10mm; cut thick white sections skinnier).
Grate garlic.


Dip cabbage in water and place it (without shaking off water) in a microwaveable container.
Cover, and microwave for 90 seconds,
Remove from microwave, mix, return and microwave (covered) for another 30 seconds.


Transfer cabbage (leave liquid behind) to a prep bowl, add sesame oil, and mix well.
Add shoyukoji and garlic, mix well, and let cool.


Slice egoma into 5mm wide strips, and add to cabbage.
Mix well. 

  • Cooling cabbage is done in order to retain the bright green of egoma leaves. If the color of egoma is not a concern, you can add egoma to cabbage while it is still hot.
  • If shoyukoji is not available, use soy sauce. Regular soy sauce would increase the sodium content above by 30-140mg for the whole recipe.
  • The flavoring here is on the weak end, as I mainly make this as part of bibimbap mixed rice served with sauce (photo at right: with carrot, moyashi bean sprouts, eringi & shiitake mushrooms, egg, chicken and egoma flowers). 


Toriniku no shiokoji remon mushi / steamed shiokoji-marinated chicken in lemon juice

Juicy and tender. A super easy and light chicken dish with shiso green perilla sauce. Tastes great hot or cold.


1 chicken breast or thigh (204g chicken breast in photo)
1 tbsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1 lemon (or 2 tbsp lemon juice)
Black pepper, to taste (not in photo)
2 tsp shiso soosu green perilla sauce (not in photo)

221 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 20.3g protein; 13.2g fat; 3.7g carbohydrate; 141mg sodium; 81mg cholesterol; 0.1g fiber


Remove obvious fat from chicken, put shiokoji on all surfaces, and marinate for few hours.


Pour lemon juice over chicken, and steam for 9-10 minutes.

(9 minutes later)


Slice chicken.


Plate chicken, grind black pepper to taste, and serve with shiso sauce.

  • This steamed chicken has a faint lemon taste. It makes a great salad or sandwich ingredient as well as topping for noodle dishes.
  • Other simple "Asian" dipping sauces can be created from various combinations of soy sauce (diluted with dashi, water, sake or Shaoxing wine) mixed with grated ginger, finely chopped green onion, cilantro, karashi mustard, tobanjan, sesame oil, peanut oil, raayu (layou) chili oil, sweet chili sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, tahini, etc.  
  • The chicken above was marinated in shiokoji for 5 hours; approximately 25% of the sodium content of shiokoji was absorbed by the chicken.


Daikon no shiso soosu-ae / daikon radish salad with green perilla dressing

A quick salad with fresh daikon radish. Pink perilla flowers pleasantly accentuate the taste and aroma.


3cm (approx. 100-120g) daikon radish (114g in photo)
2 tsp shiso soosu green perilla sauce
Black pepper, to taste
Several akajiso purple perilla flowers

23 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 0.4g protein; 1.3g fat; 2.5g carbohydrate; 48mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 0.8g fiber


Skin daikon, cut into 6 sections lengthwise (into 4, if using skinny daikon), then thinly slice (2-3mm thick) into fan shape.


Place daikon in a prep bowl, add shiso sauce, and mix well.

Add black pepper, and mix well.


Plate and top with akajiso flowers.

  • Fresh green or purple perilla leaves, if available, can be thinly sliced or finely chopped and added to the salad for additional flavor and an aroma boost.
  • Daikon can be cut into thin squares/rectangles or skinny sticks. If cut too thin, it would quickly marinate in the dressing, and the dish becomes soggy. If too thick, the flavoring would taste weak.
  • If daikon is not available, kabu turnip, nagaimo Chinese yam, hayatouri chayote, celery and jicama  (all fresh) are good choices, as is renkon lotus root (blanched/microwaved).
  • If something a bit creamier is desired, add a small amount of mayonnaise (1/2-1 tsp in above case).


Shiso soosu / green perilla sauce

A wonderful pesto-like sauce that works as a condiment or dressing.


(Makes approx. 150cc/120g)

40g aojiso green perilla leaves (40-45 small leaves, 30-35 medium leaves or 20-25 large leaves)
3 tbsp oil of your choice (1 1/2 tbsp canola oil and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in photo)
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar and lemon juice (equal parts)
1 tsp mirin 
1/2 tbsp usukuchi shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1/2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tsp shokoji salted rice malt

Whole recipe above: 391 calories; 2.7g protein; 36.0g fat; 11.5g carbohydrate; 1,131mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 2.9g fiber
1 tbsp (12g): 39 calories; 0.3g protein; 3.6g fat; 1.2g carbohydrate; 113mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 0.3g fiber
1 tsp (4g): 13 calories; 0.1g protein; 1.2g fat; 0.4g carbohydrate; 38mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 0.1g fiber


Microwave mirin for 5 seconds or so to get rid of alcohol.
Let cool.


Wash, pat dry shiso, and cut off stems.
If using large shiso leaves, remove thick center veins near stem, as they are too tough and fibrous.

Roughly chop.


Put all ingredients in food processor, and puree.

  • If usukushi shoyukoji is not available, use regular soy sauce or usukuchi soy sauce. This would add about 200mg to the sodium content figure for the whole recipe above.
  • If shiokoji is not available, use 1/2 tsp salt. When kosher salt is used, it would add about 380mg to the sodium figure for the whole recipe.
  • When neither usukuchi shoyukoji nor shiokoji is used, increase mirin somewhat (up to 1 tbsp) to give a bit more sweetness. (Both shoyukoji and shiokoji have a sweet note at the same time as being salty.)
  • The simple salad of hayatouri chayote at right is made with fresh chayote, the shiso sauce and some mayonnaise, and topped with akajiso purple perilla flowers. Yum.

Recipes with shiso sauce

(Last updated: October 17, 2014)


Moyashi to satsumaage no itamemono / stir-fried bean sprouts and deep-fried fishcake

A light and satisfying stir-fry featuring crispy bean sprouts. Satsumaage fishcake adds a nice flavor and contrasting texture as do shiitake mushrooms, while nira garlic chives chime in with their punchy taste as egg mellows it down ... The recipe below features soybean sprouts, but mung bean sprouts work great, too. See notes for some tips when using mung bean sprouts.


Large handful daizu moyashi soybean sprouts (cleaned; 170g in photo)
1 satsumaage deep-fried fishcake (desalinated; 38g in photo)
3 shiitake mushrooms (26g in photo)
Small handful nira garlic chives (20g in photo)
1 egg
1 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
Black pepper, to taste
2-3g (approx. 1 1/2-2 tbsp) katsuobushi bonito flakes
1 tsp oil

120 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 9.5g protein; 6.3g fat; 6.7g carbohydrate; 152mg sodium; 113mg cholesterol; 2.5g fiber

Remove skinny roots and discolored, translucent (soft) parts of moyashi, if you haven't already done so.
Desalinate satsumaage by soaking in boiling water for 10+ minutes.


Cut off stems of shiitake, remove discolored ends, and tear lengthwise into several pieces. Slice umbrella part approximately 3-4mm thick.
Cut nira into 3-4cm.
Slice satsumaage into 4-5mm thick pieces.
Lightly beat egg.


In a frying pan, heat oil, and fry moyashi bean sprouts on medium high heat.


When moyashi starts to look slightly translucent (and is still too crispy to bend without breaking), move to one side of frying pan.
Reduce heat to medium to medium low, add shiitake and satsumaage in the open space, and fry, stirring often, as shiitake tends to stick to the pan at the beginning.


When shiitake starts to cook (looking moist/translucent), mix shiitake and satsumaage with moyashi.
Add shiokoji, and stir,
Add black pepper, and stir.
 Add nira, and stir.


Swirl in egg.
Wait for 30 seconds or so until the bottom of egg starts to cook, then roughly mix with spatula.


Serve, and top with katsuobushi.

  • Desalination can eliminate approximately 85% of the sodium in satsumaage. Above, this means that sodium content of 214mg/piece falls to 32mg, in a simple calculation.
  • Katsuobushi can be mixed with other ingredients in the frying pan, instead of used as a topping.
  • If using mung bean sprouts, first fry shiitake and satsumaage, then add them. Mung bean sprouts cook much faster than soybean sprouts, and cooking mung bean sprouts for a long time leaves them lifeless and soggy.
  • This is a good dish to finish up any leftover beaten egg (1/2-2/3 egg is enough) from other dishes/baking.
  • If fresh shiitake is not at hand, dried shiitake (rehydrated) can be used; eringi king oyster, hiratake oyster, shimeji, maitake and chanterelle mushrooms also work great. None of them available? Then simply forget about the mushrooms.
  • If nira is not available, green onions, chives, or any leafy greens with a distinctive character (radish greens, mustard greens, arugula, cress, etc.) can fill the bill. Nira is not essential but does add color and another layer of taste, aroma and texture to the dish.
  • The taste after adding shiokoji & black pepper should not be fully satisfying in terms of saltiness. Katsuobushi added at the end will provide an additional salty note (without adding much sodium) and complete the flavoring.


Kyuri to kosai no nanpura-ae / cucumber and cilantro in nam pla dressing

A spicy and refreshing relish-like dish. Let the sugar work for you to reduce the amount of salty nam pla...


1 kyuri Japanese cucumber (156g in photo)
1 serrano pepper
1/2 fresno pepper
Small handful cilantro (10g in photo)
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 lime
2/3-1 tsp nam pla fish sauce

16 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 1.0g protein; 0.1g fat; 4.1g carbohydrate; 78mg sodium (with 2/3 tsp nam pla; 116mg sodium with 1 tsp nam pla); 0mg cholesterol; 0.9g fiber


Cut off both ends of cucumber, and skin in a stripe pattern.
Hit and half-crush cucumber with rolling pin or pestle.
Cut cucumber into 2-3cm.


Place cucumber in a prep bowl, sprinkle brown sugar, gently mix, and let sit for 10 minutes or so.


Meanwhile, finely chop fresno pepper.
Grate serrano pepper (first remove seeds if you do not like very spicy food).
Discard tougher stems of cilantro, and roughly chop.


Discard liquid pooled at bottom of cucumber prep bowl.


Add fresno and serano pepper, squeeze in lime juice, add nam pla, and mix well.

Add cilantro, and mix well.
Ready to serve.

  • Sugar, just like salt, draws out water from ingredients. First adding sugar to extract some water from cucumber eliminates the need to add more seasoning to achieve desired saltiness at the end.
  • Serrano pepper is a substitute for little Thai peppers.
  • Serrano pepper can be crushed in mortar.
  • If lime is not available, lemon works fine. To me, lime has a sharper taste and aroma, which seems to work better to reduce the amount of nam pla needed (lemon tastes softer, and I would want to add more nam pla with lemon).
  • The fresno pepper above is mainly to add color. If not available, small cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered) or red onion (finely chopped) work great for both color and taste. Toasted peanuts are good addition, too.
  • If you are serving this after some time, cut back on nam pla or add it immediately before serving, in order not to make cucumber overly salty.
  • Actual sodium intake is lower than the above figure, as some dressing would be left in the prep and serving bowls.
  • Sodium content of fish sauce varies significantly (approximately 700mg-1,800mg/tbsp for those available in the US). The above recipe is made with a Thai fish sauce that contains 690mg sodium per tablespoon.