A Taste of Summer

Edamame shiso salad with yuzu vinaigrette

Bright, fresh, and a snap to make, this salad is the perfect starter or side for the lazy days of summer.

If you keep a bag of frozen edamame in your freezer and grow your own shiso plant in your garden as I do, you can put this dish together anytime the mood strikes. I love this floral , tangy, crisp vinaigrette also on chilled green beans, fava beans, peas, asparagus, or salad greens. I think you’ll find it’s definitely a keeper to add to your culinary repertoire.

This wonderful recipe is from The Breakaway Cook by San Franciscan Eric Gower, who has a knack for using Japanese ingredients in clever, yet simple ways.

Edamame shiso salad with yuzu vinaigrette

(serves 4 to 5 generously)

3 cups cooked, shelled edamame

1 tablespoon yuzu or other citrus juice

5 shiso leaves, sliced into chiffonade

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Zest of 1 lemon

Place edamame in your prettiest ceramic bowl that will hold them with plenty of room to spare.

In a blender, mix yuzu juice, half the shiso, the olive oil, vinegar, and maple syrup. Gently mix vinaigrette into the edamame. Add salt and pepper liberally and add remaining shiso. Sprinkle lemon zest on top.

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  • What is shiso? Haven’t heard of this. The salad sounds delicious. I have Eric’s cookbook but didn’t remember seeing this recipe.

  • Hi Debbie! I’m glad you found my blog, too. You have probably seen shiso if you’ve ever enjoyed sushi or sashimi. It’s the green, serrated-edge leaf that often is a garnish on those plates. It’s also known as perilla, beefsteak plant or oba in Japanese. It’s been one of the most commonly used herbs in Japan for centuries. I love its flavor — sort of a cross between mint and basil, with a hint of citrus and cumin.

  • Rena Takahashi

    what a good idea – next time I’m at TJ’s I’ll pick up some shelled edamame. One of my raised beds has been overtaken by green and red shiso. I even see it sprouting up in my other veggie areas. Start with one plant and it’ll reseed year after year. Seeds are also available through Kitazawa seed company – they sell them at Yamagami nursery in Cupertino.

    I saw nice big healthy plants in 1gal pots for sale at Nijiya in Mountain View on Monday – they seemed to have quite a few, and they were inexpensive – maybe $3 or $4?

    I like to chop a hefty handful of leaves into a chiffonade and add to hot Japanese rice. If I want a quick lunch then I add in a can of tuna or salmon and some toasted sesame seeds with salt. Form into onigiri balls and eat with crispy nori. Good for picnics!

  • What a great, easy way to make onigiri, which I love. Thanks for the super tip, Rena. Can’t wait to try making my own.

  • I nearly always have frozen edamame in my freezer, such a brilliant ingredient. You are very lucky having that shiso plant, what a wonderful ingredient.

  • What a lovely dish, it sounds delicious.

  • Sounds wonderful! Question: Where on earth does one find Yuzu? I love this fruit to death but have not been able to find it in any store. Thanks!

  • Yuzu is a Japanese citrus. It has this beguiling tart-floral flavor, a little like a cross between a Meyer lemon, lime and an orange. It’s not easy to find the fresh fruit in the United States. But it is readily available as bottled juice or frozen juice at Japanese markets. Good stuff!

  • Shiso – the zingy green uber garnish! Carolyn, does it grow well in very sunny climes like Oakland? Love the onigiri direction too. Is everyone sure about the maple syrup in Eric’s recipe? Must try this one.

  • Oh yes, the maple syrup is a very nice touch. Very inventive and lends a subtle, but more complex sweetness.

    Well, as you know from my previous posting, I’m not the world’s greatest gardener. hah. But I think shiso should be fine growing in Oakland, though, I think it prefers a little bit of shade, and not super strong sunlight. But you shiso experts out there, please let me know what your thoughts are. Thank you!

  • Rena Takahashi

    Shiso grows in my full sun garden (south of Oakland, in Cupertino) but it needs a ton of water. It behaves very much like basil – as much water as you can give it, lots of nitrogen, and loose soil. It starts bolting around late July, dies off by Halloween, and reseeds itself in the late spring. I’m sure there’s at least one Japanese nursery in the Oakland/Berkeley area – they’ll probably have it in 1 gal pots. One good place to look for plants is at an Obon festival at your local Buddhist temple. Obon season has just started – the San Jose temple’s Obon is this upcoming weekend, and they always sell shiso plants.

  • This would be fabulous with some yuzu kosho (yuzu rind with spicy peppers) and pea shoots as well. Yum! I just made a nice shiso pesto too – what great flavours it adds to fish. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Oooh, does the yuzu rind come dried in stores? You never see the actual fresh fruit in the stores here, just the bottled juice, so that’s why I’m curious.

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