Known as Shiso cress also the Beefsteak plant as well as Perilla mint, this Japanese herb is easy to grow at home. In fact it can be little to easy.
Two varieties are available, a green which is known as Aojiso and red which is known as Akajiso, to us they taste they same, like a spicy, minty, basil. Both have frilled leaves when mature.
The botanical name is Perilla frutescens, it is a very useful herb, however if you let it go to seed, you may well have a little more Shiso than you bargained for.
How do you use Shiso cress?
Traditionally Shiso is used in both Japanese and Korean cooking. It is commonly used with fish, especially sushi, where it is said to have a sort of preservative or medicinal property. Also used in pickles where the red variety add colour.
You can grow them from seed as sprouts, and to us this is the best way.
It can also be used in salads, as a tea especially a cool drink. It can also be dried and used as a seasoning.
How to grow Shiso cress
- You can grow Shiso cress from seed or seedlings. Seeds are fairly easy to germinate as long as you surface sow them and keep them moist. They do need light to germinate.
- Seeds can be sown directly, if growing from seedlings, be careful not to disturb the roots when transplanting.
- The best time to plant it is from autumn through to late spring. Sequential sowing of seeds each month will ensure a continuous supply.
- We suggest watering with a liquid seaweed fertiliser every two weeks. Make sure that the soil does not dry out, although this is not much of a problem in winter to spring.
- You can grow Shiso cress in containers. And this is a great idea so you can more readily control the self seeding nature of the plant.
To Buy Shiso cress, try the following nurseries
KALLINYALLA NURSERY – Phone: 0428822725.
Shaen St Port Lincoln, SA, 5606
KLEMZIG GARDEN CENTRE – Phone: 08 8369 0338
32 O G Rd Klemzig, SA, 5087
In Victoria try
MT EVELYN GARDEN CENTRE - Phone: (03) 9736 1162
126 York Rd, Mount Evelyn VIC 3796
Excellent range of herbs and vegetables, full range of general nursery lines, pots and garden statues
AJS BULLOCK NURSERY – Phone: 03 9890 3162
48 Cosier Dr Noble Park, VIC, 3174
ACORN NURSERY – Phone: 03 5141 1900 673
Canterbury Rd Surrey Hills, VIC, 3127
AUSSIE GOLD PLANT NURSERY – Phone: 03 5428 7929
126 Amess Rd Riddells Creek, VIC, 3431
In New South Wales
Try BERRIMA COTTAGE NURSERY – Phone: 02 4877 2929
28 Old Hume Hwy Berrima, NSW, 2577
BALCONY IN BLOOM – Phone: 02 9905 2462
10 Green St Brookvale, NSW, 2100
ANNANDALE GARDEN CENTRE – Phone: 02 9660 0874
36 Booth St Annandale, NSW, 2038
BONNYRIGG GARDEN CENTRE – Phone: 02 9610
5366 Elizabeth Dr Bonnyrigg Heights, NSW, 2177