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Japanese Red Shiso Pesto

I made a most delicious dish using freshly picked organic red shiso (Aka shiso).

I brought home a nice bunch of freshly picked red shiso and perked it up by putting the cut stems in some cool water on the kitchen counter. It had been a hot day and the leaves were slightly wilted when I brought them home. They looked fresh and delicious again after about 15 minutes in the cooler kitchen out of the hot sun and car.

Here is the recipe I mixed up:

Ingredients for the Japanese Red Shiso Pesto:

  • 4 cups lightly packed red shiso leaves

  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts

  • 2 Tbsp. red miso paste

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 juiced Meyer lemon

  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil

  • 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil


I used a Vitamix blender to pulverize and mix the pesto ingredients. Added enough of the toasted sesame oil at the end of the mixing to make a smooth paste with a consistency between a sauce and a paste. These ingredients made about 2 cups of delicious Japanese red shiso pesto; enough to sauce about 2 lbs of rice pasta.

Cooked up one package of Tinkyada rice rotelli noodles and used half of the Japanese red shiso pesto as a sauce. It didn't need any additional salt or other seasoning and it was sensationally delicious.

This delicious pesto sauce will store nicely in the refrigerator for a few days, or can be frozen for use later. Some ideas of other ways to use it are as a sauce for shrimp or other fish, or as a vegetable or rice seasoning. I could imagine a dollop of the pesto on a baked potato. A bit of it to dress a cucumber salad will be divine!

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