Shiso juice, also known as “akajiso juice” is a refreshing and aromatic beverage made from red shiso leaves. It is a popular drink in Japan for its unique herbaceous flavour with a slightly sweet undertone and potential health benefits.

Recommended ways to use shiso syrup

Here are a couple of ways to enjoy shiso syrup, beyond straight shiso juice.

  • Fizzy shiso juice: 80 ml shiso syrup + 160 ml carbonated water + ice
  • Sunset Shiso Sour
  • Shiso carbonated shochu: 150 ml carbonated water + 50 ml shochu + 50 ml shiso juice
  • Shiso beer: 50 ml shiso juice + 150 ml beer
  • Shochu on the Shiso Rocks: Freeze shiso juice into cubes and pour shochu over.
  • Shiso Milk: 160 ml milk of choice + 80 ml shiso syrup + ice
  • Shiso garnita: Pour shiso juice in a shallow metal pan and freeze for 30 minutes. Scrape the garnita with a fork and freeze again. Take it out of the freezer and scrape with a fork again and place back into the freezer. Repeat 8-10 times until flaky texture. Top wish shiso or mint sugar and citrus zest.
  • Shiso ice cream: Pour concentrated shiso syrup over vanilla ice cream or if you have a ice cream machine, churn some of the shiso syrup in a base of vanilla ice cream.
  • Shiso ice cream float: Make carbonated shiso juice and top with vanilla ice cream (one of my favourites!).
  • Shaved ice: drizzle concentrated shiso syrup over shaved ice.
  • Yogurt: drizzle concentrated shiso syrup over yogurt.
  • Shiso apple jam: (coming soon)

Note: these are just rough amounts of each ingredient based on the concentration of my syrup and taste preference, please adjust the amount of ingredients to your liking.

For the leftover shiso leaves, you can make furikake by dehydrating them and grinding it up with some salt and sesame seeds or make a quick side dish. I typically like to chop it up and toss is in some soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. 🙂

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Shiso Syrup (Shiso Juice) しそジュース


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Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1000 ml water (100%)
  • 150200 g fresh red or green shiso leaves, rinsed and dried (15 – 20%)
  • 150250 g raw cane sugar (15-25%)
  • 150250 g lemon juice (15-25%)

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil and add the shiso leaves. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the shiso leaves and transfer the liquid back to the pot. Squeeze as much of the liquid you can out of the shiso leaves (don’t throw them out!).
  3. Place the pot back over the stove and bring to a simmer. Add the cane sugar and whisk until dissolved. If you prefer a straight drink, you can allow this mixture to cool and move onto the next step.
  4. To make it a syrup, simmer on medium low to low for 15-30 minutes, depending on how concentrated you want your syrup to be. I typically aim for a reduction of half the total amount of liquid.
  5. Transfer the liquid to a sterile air tight jar. Pour in the lemon juice (and watch the magic happen!), it’ll turn bright reddish purple if using red shiso leaves.
  6. If making the straight version, you can enjoy as is once its cooled. If making the concentrated version, dilute some of the syrup with more water, club soda, milk or any booze. Enjoy!!

Notes

  • In the video for a small batch, I used 250 ml of water, 50 g shiso, 50 g sugar and 50 g of lemon juice and reduced the total liquid by half for a concentrated type.
  • For preserving purposes, the higher concentration of sugar and lemon juice, the longer it will last.
Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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3 Comments

  1. I had a bunch of shiso in the garden I needed to use before the first frost and this recipe came at the right time! So tasty and pretty and I really enjoyed the chopped greens too!