Veggie Friendly » Blog Archive » Weekend Herb Blogging - Shiso noodle salad recipe
Filed by Kate Pounder on 05-04-2008

Growing up I loved most vegetarian foods, except salads. So far as I could tell, a salad was a bowl filled with iceberg lettuce - surely the most bland, watery ingredient on the planet. The lettuce du jour of 1980s Australia was also a salad hog, leaving little room for other ingredients, and forcing the few that did exist to the hidden depths of the salad bowl.

Yummy shiso… suck din iceberg lettuce!

Thankfully, the comparatively urbane 1990s soon rolled around, bringing with them the exotic new lettuce substitutes like rocket and baby spinach. Suddenly salad greens became edible, dressings could be more adventurous, and there was room for a whole host of other tasty ingredients. Hurrah!

These days, there are more and more lettuce and herb varieties available, meaning there’s just no excuse to revert to the bad old days of iceberg lettuce salads. One of my favourite new salad ingredients is shiso, or perilla. It has a rich, nutty taste and slightly rough texture, and is a great addition to salads and sandwiches.

Perilla salad

Shiso noodle salad

1 cup fresh sorrel
1 cup fresh elkhorn lettuce
5 - 6 green shiso leaves
200g thin soba noodles
Asian style marinated tofu (I recommend Soyco’s Japanese version)
2 zucchini
3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the dressing
1 dessert spoon sesame oil
1 dessert spoon rice wine vinegar
2 dessert spoons tamari
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup light miso stock

Halve the zucchinis, cut into thin strips, and grill in a light vegetable oil. When cooked, chop into thinner strips. Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Wash and dry the shiso, elk and sorrel. Roughly chop the elk and sorrel, and halve the shiso and cut it into thin strips.

If you’re using store bought marinated tofu, chop it into small cubes. Otherwise, follow this recipe and then chop the tofu into small cubes once it’s cooked.

Add the dressing ingredients and mix together. Throw all the salad ingredients into the bowl, making sure to tease out the noodles so they don’t cling together. Add the dressing and toss well. Serve.

Notes on the recipe

  • If you can’t find shiso, elk and sorrel, you can substitute baby spinach, continental parsley, coriander or steamed broccoli (chopped small).
  • If you want the salad to be more filling, use less fewer greens and add more noodles and tofu.
  • If you leave out the sorrel, add a good squeeze of fresh lemon to the salad before you add the dressing.
  • All about shiso

  • Shiso is also known as perilla.
  • You can buy green and purple varieties.
  • It originated in China, though it’s now used mainly in Japanese and Vietnamese cooking.
  • It is a spade-shaped leaf with serrated edges.
  • In Japanese cooking it’s used in sushi and tempura, while in Vietnamese cooking it’s used raw in salads.
  • This week’s weekend herb blogging is hosted by its founder, Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen. Make sure to visit her site so you can see the full recap.

    3 Comments posted on "Weekend Herb Blogging - Shiso noodle salad recipe"
    Kalyn on April 6th, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    This sounds delicious and wonderfully healthful as well! Shiso is one of those ingredients I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time. Thanks for the reminder, maybe I will try to get some seeds!

    Sophie on August 27th, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)

    You can view our blog here:

    sandrar on September 11th, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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