An extraordinary herb
Shiso leaf, also known as beefsteak plant, or Perilla frutescens, is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Green shiso is commonly referred to as oba in Japan.
This fragrant herb is typically used with sashimi or tempura. It has grown to compliment numerous dishes across cuisines, from salads and sauces to meats and pastas. Shiso’s characteristic refreshing aroma can be described as a blend of citrus, pine, mint, and spice. This is largely due to the high levels of chemical compounds, perillaldehyde, limonene, and pinene; which are also appreciated for their strong antibacterial action.
Shiso is an extremely nutritious herb. It is rich in beta carotene; which is converted into vitamin A to better our skin, strengthen our immune system, and promote healthy eyes. Among the list of shiso’s nutrients are potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2 and C, and dietary fibre.
Ueki’s greenhouse is located in Oita Prefecture; which is one of the leading producers of large shiso leaves in Japan. Ueki Farm began cultivation over 50 years ago. In 1999, with their years of reliable farming, they were nationally awarded for their contribution to eco-sustainable agricultural production.
In addition, they hold JGAP (Japan Good Agricultural Practices) certification that Ueki Farm’s on-farm production and post-production processes result in safe and healthy food while protecting the environment and safeguarding the well-being of the workers.
High technology cultivation
At Ueki Farm, shiso is grown with high technology cultivation methods to produce large leaves of greatest freshness with a powerful unique fragrance.
Extensive quality control is required at every stage; seed collection, seedling production, soil making, planting, cultivation, and harvesting.
On the exterior of the greenhouse, weed-proof sheets are placed to prevent weeds from entering the greenhouse. In addition, mulch film is used to control weed growth, maintain soil temperature, retain water, and repel insects. Meanwhile, the greenhouse interior is equipped with LED lights, pheromone traps, electric-insect-killing lights, and full-scale multi-cultivation to achieve cultivation with minimal use of pesticides. Compost is also manufactured in-house to promote healthy growth of the plants.
Speedy harvesting allows for optimal shiso freshness to be kept. By hand-picking the large leaves when they are fresh, highly fragrant products can be processed as a result.
During harvesting, much care is taken to ensure the leaves are not touched, only the stems. The harvested leaves are immediately transported to a cold room to maintain their freshness.
Here, they are inspected in a hygienic section to prevent contamination from foreign matter and the leaves deteriorating.
Per 100g raw shiso leaf
Energy – 37Kcal
Calcium – 230mg
Iron – 1.7mg
Beta-carotene – 11000ug
Vitamin B1 – 0.13mg
Vitamin B2 – 0.34mg
Vitamin C – 55mg