When I visited Japan in April this year I had a chance to try Red Shiso juice for the first time.
The taste was much milder than I expected and refreshing!
I love it so much so I wanted to make my own.
When I was growing up in Japan my mother used Red Shiso leaves for making pickles of umeplums and ginger, but she never made as juice so I never taste it till this time.
I only have read Red Shiso makes delicious juice and many benefits for examples: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, high levels of rosmarinic acid which stops bacteria growth, high in minerals, iron, calcium, Vitamin B1and β-carotene (10 X more than that of pumpkin), helping for summer lethargy, improves immune function, allergy, blood pressures, aging spots, etc.
So I was very happy that I was able to try this time.
I thought about it as making for a cooling summer remedy drink!
I really wanted to make it my own this summer, but had a difficult time growing Red Shiso leaves every summer.
Also, I broke my left knee after I came back from Japan while I was hiking with my dogs. I had to put my left knee above my heart so I was lyaing down most of the time. I had to grow seeds that I planted this spring in pots so I could move them where I could reach to water from my wheelchair.
I transplanted all of them into one-gallon pots and put them the east side of my house on the deck instead of the southside on the ground.
I thought they grew better with much sunlight, but I found out that they did grew much better with morning sunlight to till 2 pm.
I had so much red shiso and green shiso grew successfully this summer so my wish of making Red Shiso Juice came reality even I was in my wheelchair.
Shiso has natural preservative qualities and can be kept as a concentrate for making drinks in the refrigerator for months.
You can also freeze the Shiso juice concentrate to enjoy an anti-inflammatory drink all winter – I like to add warm water in the winter.
Here is my recipe for Red Shiso Juice. (I do not know why it is called “Red Shiso Juice” because it is made like a tea.
Red Shiso Juice Recipe
- 300 g (about 10 oz) red shiso leaves
- 2000 ml (about 8 cups) spring water
- 150~600 g (about 5~20oz) beet sugar (Option)
- 3~5 tbs lemon juice
1. Prepare shiso leaves; cut leaves if you are growing your own shiso plant, and wash and trim the stems from shiso leaves. You might find an insect just like me.
2. Wash shiso leaves with water and cleans them carefully. Soak them in a bowl for 15 min.
3. Bring 2000ml water into a large saucepan, add the prepared and washed shiso leaves, and bring to boil.
4. Turn the heat down to low heat and cook the shiso leaves for about 5 minutes. The leaves’ color will change from purple to greenish color.
5. Drain the shiso leaves with a strainer and squeeze the leaves to extract as much as possible. It is hot, so be careful not to burn your finger; I used a wooden spoon to extract all liquid.
6. Place the drained liquid back into the saucepan and bring it to simmer.
7. Add the beet sugar, and turn the heat off when the sugar has dissolved and add lemon juice. The color changes to a beautiful red.
8. Cool it down and transfer to a sterilized glass container and keep it in the refrigerator, which lasts about 6 months.
9. To make shiso juice, place 1-2 tbs of the syrup and pour about 200 ml of cold mineral or sparkling water. I usually do not put ice cubes, but If you like, you can add ice cubes.
Most of us seen green ones in Japanese restaurants.