Perilla Leaves Add Fresh Minty, Bitter Notes to Sweet Salad

August 7, 2015 5:30 pm Last Updated: August 1, 2018 3:49 pm

“Perilla” leaves—also called “shiso” leaves—have an overpowering flavor, so you want to use them carefully. Here, they accent a fresh and crunchy salad with minty and bitter notes. Also try them whole as a wrap for meats.

Perilla leaf. (Matthew Mead/AP)
Perilla leaf. (Matthew Mead/AP)

Perilla Leaf and Pear Salad With Rice Vinegar Dressing

Prep & Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2


For the Dressing:
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon white miso
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil

For the Salad:
1 or 2 baby romaine lettuce hearts
6 fresh perilla (also called shiso) leaves
1 Asian pear
1 radish, thinly shaved
1/4 cup thinly shaved fennel
1/2 cup cooked and chilled wheat berries
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, miso, and honey until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the grapeseed and sesame oils while whisking vigorously. Reserve until ready to use.

Tear the romaine lettuce leaves and toss in a large bowl. Tear the perilla leaves into small bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Peel and dice the Asian pear and add. Add the shaved radish, fennel, and wheat berries. Add just enough of the vinaigrette to just moisten the salad ingredients. Toss gently, then taste. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between 2 plates. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette around the plate.

Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories; 160 calories from fat (52 percent of total calories); 18 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 290 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 5 g protein.