Shiso, also known as Perilla frutescens, is a plant native to East Asia, specifically Japan, China, and Korea. It is a member of the mint family and has a distinctive flavor that is sometimes described as a mix of mint and basil.
In terms of appearance, shiso has green or purple leaves that are deeply serrated and pointed. The plant itself can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and has small purple or white flowers.
When it comes to growing conditions, shiso prefers full sun and well-draining soil. It is relatively easy to grow and can be cultivated in a variety of climates. However, it is not winter hardy and will need to be brought indoors or protected during the colder months.
Shiso leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used in Japanese cuisine. The leaves can be used in a variety of dishes, such as sushi, salads, and tempura. The seeds can also be toasted and used as a garnish.
In addition to its culinary uses, shiso has a number of other uses. It is often used in traditional medicine, both in its native East Asia and elsewhere, to treat a variety of conditions. It is also used as a natural insect repellent and has been shown to be effective in protecting crops from certain pests.