Nami (Just One Cookbook) posted this recipe a long long time ago and I made it shortly afterwards. I loved this aromatic sauce at once and must have prepared it at least a dozen times since then. I intended to write about it much earlier, but somehow kept on forgetting to take a photo. I cannot say I’m happy about this one, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to share my impressions with you and to thank Nami for this surprising discovery, which has become a staple in my house.
As the title says, the recipe calls only for the garlic, the shiso and the soy sauce. They are simply assembled, put into a jar or a container and wait in the fridge for 24 hours. After a couple of days the leaves can be exchanged for fresh ones, the soy sauce added and thus this short-term preserve can be refilled and used for about three weeks. These few ingredients create a surprisingly good and complex sauce, which is a real delicacy for fans of garlic an shiso.
Shiso (紫蘇) or perilla, is widely used in both Korean and Japanese cuisines and you have probably seen it on my blog. I am mad for its herbaceous, slightly bitter flavour and its strong aroma and can no longer imagine many of my meals without it. Here it has largely contributed to the complexity of flavours and gave this sauce a very original, fresh touch. This sauce is quite versatile. It can be used as a light dip for deep-fried dishes, added to fried rice, as a stir-fry seasoning and I even pour it on steamed rice instead of the standard soy sauce (I’m one of those Europeans who almost always add soy sauce to rice…). Thank you, Nami, for this wonderful and easy recipe. (Click here to see Nami’s original post).
Shiso is in full season now, so in case you look for some other ideas, here are some of my previous recipes using this fabulous herb:
TIP: Shiso is available in Japanese and Korean grocery shops, but I was surprised to find it in a Vietnamese shop and quickly noticed they have it almost every day in stock, so do check all the Asian grocers in your city.
Preparation: 5 minutes+at least 24 hours in the fridge
10 big shiso leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
soy sauce (enough to cover the ingredients; I usually add 125 ml or 1/2 cup)
Put the garlic and the shiso leaves in a jar or a plastic container.
Cover with soy sauce. Close tightly and leave for at least 24 hours before tasting.
When the leaves become very dark, you can exchange them for new ones.
You can also keep on filling the container with more soy sauce.
Such a “renewal” can last for about three weeks.