There are several names and styles for this kind of furikake. First, shiso, perilla, and beefsteak plant are all the same thing. It is a member of the mint family, with green to dark purple tooth-edged leaves. It has a very strong mint-basil flavor, with definite pepperiness and a bitter undertone. It can also be described as having subtle flavors of anise. If you don’t have perilla you can try a combination of those flavors or other similar leaves, perhaps Thai basil, but this very common fresh herb can be found in almost every Asian market. They most often offer little packets of trimmed perilla, rolled and rubber banded.
There are some common names for a furikake containing perilla. One often used name, Yukari Furikake, actually refers to a particular brand name of a common furikake made with perilla leaves; not unlike the American use of ‘Kleenex’ (a brand name) to refer to any facial tissue. They are also marketed shiso furikake, shiso fumi furikake, and of-course perilla furikake.
Typically made with dried perilla leaves, some of these store bought blends contain just perilla, salt, and sugar, while other may have black and/or white sesame seeds, nori, and even bonito. The recipe I have below uses fresh trimmed leaves. I tried drying a few out and found them to really loose their delicious flavor. Because of this, I have also opted to include some other ingredients, so that the furikake becomes rounded with flavor and not over powered by the bold perilla leaves.
By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes: ~1/4 cup
- 1 t sea salt
- 1/8 t soy sauce
- 1 t sugar
- 1/8 t sake or michiu
- 1 t ground bonito flakes
- 4 t white sesame seeds
- 4 t black sesame seeds
- 8 roasted seaweed snack sheets; cut into short strips
- OR one sheet of nori; cut into small strips*
- 8 perilla/shiso leaves; chopped very finely
*This may require the addition of more salt to taste
- Whisk together the salt, soy sauce, sugar, and sake.
- Add the ground bonito flakes, and mix well.
- Stir in the sesame seeds, seaweed, and chopped leaves.
- Sprinkle over rice or any variety of dishes, as desired.