Shiso is an herb often found in Japanese cuisine. It tastes slightly citrusy and herbaceous, like a cross between mint and basil.
There are plenty of uses for the versatile plant—pickle it, use it as a wrapper for meat or fish, or use it as a garnish (in Japan it's often used as a vehicle to hold wasabi)—but if you're at Ichi Sushi, you'll find it cleverly turn it into a pesto and tossed with somen noodles. Replicate the colorful dish with the super simple recipe below!
Note: you can find yuzu and shiso at most Japanese markets, such as Nijiya in Japan Town.
Shiso Pesto Somen Salad
4 oz. somen noodles
5 bunches shiso leaves
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 oz. yuzu juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1. Bring 2 quarts heavily salted water to a boil. Add noodles and stir once, then leave to cook until al dente.
2. Strain and then plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool. Strain again and set aside, refrigerating until use.
3. Combine shiso leaves, oil and salt in a blender. Pulse until smooth.
4. Dress noodles with shiso pesto, then mix in yuzu juice.
5. Serve either on plates or in a big bowl, family-style, garnished with lemon zest.