May 6, 2020

Shiso Pesto

Today’s recipe features Pesto sauce with one of my favourite Japanese food discover: Shiso! This sauce match so many dishes. We tried with Pizza, pasta, Onigiri, salad… Enjoy it with your favourite food!





Golden Week, renamed this year Gaman Week (= “Patience Week“, in the hope that everyone will prefer reading a good book at home rather than a group gathering in the park) is flying by.

It’s the first time Yo and I have spent this time of the year entirely at home together. We have enjoyed it to the fullest: Netflix, music, books, chatting, eating … was fun!

We also rearranged the house, nothing too upsetting, but moving a sofa out of a room and tidying up the shelves can make all the difference. And it was among those shelves that I found an old cookbook, entirely focused on macrobiotic cooking. We also rearranged the house, nothing too upsetting, but moving a sofa out of a room and tidying up the shelves can make all the difference. And it’s right among those shelves that I found an old cookbook belonging to Yo, entirely dedicated to vegetarian cuisine prepared with Japanese ingredients.

Protagonists: umeboshi in all its forms, noodles with tasty vegetable broths, spicy tofu, a long paragraph on the use and benefits of miso, and much more. The classic book that when you find it you wonder why you don’t use it more often.

An essential ingredient in many of the recipes: the leaves of Shiso.


Shiso Leaves

A great recipe for Pesto lovers

In Japanese cuisine, you can find them in different forms. It is used as a bed for wasabi on sashimi plates, in salads, in tempura, wrapped around meatballs, in harumaki 

You can find it everywhere, and it is easily distinguished by its refreshing flavor. 

Since I am a big fan of this delicious and lively leaf, I propose a recipe that sees it as the protagonist: Shiso Pesto.

A simple sauce made of a few ingredients with a delightful taste. I hope you like it as much as I do!


Shiso Pesto


Let’s Cook


Shiso Pesto


In a hot pan, toast the peanuts and cook until they don’t reach a golden brown color, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly). Be careful not to burn the surface or they’ll taste bitter.

When they reach the desired color, set aside to cool.

To a food processor add the Shiso Leaves, peanutscheesegarlic, and place the top back on. With the food processor running, add oil in a slow stream until pesto is mostly smooth – around 1 minute. You can use more than the suggested olive oil if you prefer a more creamy Pesto.

Season with salt.

Like all pests, if we let it rest sealed in a jar for a whole night in the fridge, it will make the flavors blend perfectly together resulting in a balanced sauce.

Be creative!

Pesto is not only a perfect match with pasta! Have you ever tried it on pizza? Or as a dressing for a potato and octopus salad? Or on simple toast with some fresh tomatoes?