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


Shiso no mi no shiozuke (aojiso) / salted green perilla fruits

Salted perilla fruits are a flavorful condiment. They are great to eat with steamed rice, onigiri rice balls, hiyayakko tofu, pickle-type vegetable salads, etc. The following is the two-step preparation process that preserves the green color.


Shiso no mi perilla fruits (46 g in photo)
Salt, 5-10% of perilla fruits' weight, for 1st step (2.3-4.6 g; approx. 1-1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt in photo)
Salt, 20% of perilla fruits' weight, for 2nd step (9.2 g; approx. 1 tbsp of kosher salt in photo)


Harvest perilla fruits, ideally when a few flowers are still in bloom at the top of the plant.
When fruits are totally ripe and there are no flowers at the top, they can be too tough.

Rinse well, and collect fruits (or first collect fruits then rinse well).
Weigh fruits after squeezing out excess water (or before rinsing), and figure out the amount of salt you need.


Place perilla fruits in a bowl, sprinkle salt for 1st step, and rub into fruits until brownish water comes out.

Squeeze out excess water, and place fruits in a strainer that fits in a pot.


Bring plenty of water to boil, and blanch perilla fruits in strainer for 10-15 seconds.
Immediately transfer to ice water to stop cooking process.


Soak in water, changing it from time to time, for 30-60 minutes.


Squeeze out excess water from perilla fruits, and place them in a container.

Sprinkle salt for 2nd step, and mix well.


Cover with plastic film, place weight, and refrigerate.  


(3 days later)
Soak in water to achieve desired saltiness before use.

  • If maintaining the green color is not a concern, you can skip blanching. Salting and blanching (some people simply blanch perilla fruits in salted water) ensures the green color is retained.
  • Salted perilla fruits can be kept in the fridge or freezer.
  • If keeping in a cool location other than the fridge, top with more salt before sealing the container.


Anonymous said...

This is great. The weather starts turning and the length of the day shortens and so shiso developes buds. It will be at least a couple of days till they are mature enough but I want to preserve them and will follow your recipe. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have the first few grams in the making, I think I'll wait a couple of days for the rest. I'm hoping maybe you could help me with a few - perhaps rather stupid - questions?

When stripping the fruits off the stem, did you remove the small leaf-like bit where each flower is attached to the stem? I'm sure there exists a technical/botanical term for this structure but I don't know what to call it. And how do you get rid of renmants of the petals?
And I guess you just weigh the stripped off fruits?
I assume you remove the weight in the last step after a couple of days?
Sorry to bother you, your step-by-step instructions are excellant and very clear but I stunmbled over the above-mentioned issues this time. Thank you for your help!

neco said...

Thank you for the questions.
Everything except for tough stems can go in with fruits. And yes, the weight (46 g) listed above is of fruits and little leaves that are left after removing stems.
The weight can be left or removed after a few days – whichever is convenient. I think putting the weight at the beginning is to ensure all fruits come in contact with salt instead of air. Once they are picked (salt is penetrated), the weight is not necessary but won’t harm the pickle as long as it is not too heavy.

neco said...

One more note …
Shiso stems can be dried for aromatic herb tea!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the extra hints and clarification! I just packed around 70g of blanched and salted shiso pods in a tsukemonoki, as I've run out of containers and will re-pack and freeze after a couple of days. I think it paid off waiting a few days, the fruits are plumper but don't appear to be tough. There still were a few flowers on the top as well and look similar to yours so that is promising.

Good thing I haven't put the stems in the trash yet, I will try the shiso stem tea.

Sorry about the numerous typos in my comment above.