Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shiso Wrapped Asparagus

I got back from the World Cup trip a couple of days ago. It was an amazing experience. I was never particularly a soccer fan, but after being part of attending the game, I am now hooked. My wife and I have been going to the nearby British pub called George & Dragon (famous for showing soccer matches) every night to watch the other games.

During this trip, I spent about 4 days in Germany, and four more days in Spain. I enjoyed the beers and pastries in Germany, and fell in love with seafood in Spain, particularly the octopus dish called "Pulpo ala gallego." I've been to Europe before on my own, but this time I had local friends show us around, which was ten times better than following a guidebook.

I'll have to write more about my trip, but for now, let me introduce today's recipe. I'm sure this exists, but I've never seen it offered at restaurants. My mom used to make this years ago, and recently I somehow remembered about it, and decided to make it myself.

IN JAPANESE: Asparagus no shiso maki
CATEGORY: Side-dish, Vegetarian
SERVES: 2 people

8 shiso leaves
4 fresh green asparagus
1 TBsp miso
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp sake
1/2 TBsp vegetable oil

In a small bowl, mix miso, mirin and sake until it becomes a smooth paste.

Cut the asparagus into similar length as the width of shiso leaves, and boil for 3 minutes.

While the asparagus is being cooked, gently wash the shiso leaves and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them flat, and pour about 1/3 teaspoon of miso-mirin-sake paste on top.

Scoop the boiled asparagus pieces from the pot, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place a piece of asparagus on top of the shiso leaves and carefuly take one end of the shiso leaf and wrap the asparagus. Don't worry if some of the miso paste comes out from the sides.

After all the aparagus pieces are wrapped by shiso leaves, pour some oil in a heated pan and carefully stirfry them for a minute or two, rotating them around so they are evenly cooked. Remember, the asparagus is already cooked, so you don't need to stirfry for too long!


elai said...

hi! was browsing for swome easy japanese recipes and found your site. hope you don't mind if i tag you in mine.

i used to live in Japan but i am now currently (mis)placed somewhere else and now have terrible hankering for "normal" japanese food.

JW said...

> elai
Sure thing. Glad you enjoyed my site. Where are you (mis)placed?

Marlena Compton said...

I tried your recipe with some salmon and rice for my dinner this evening. I had never eaten shiso before, but your dish is excellent! Obviously, your mom knew what she was doing. Hope to see more recipes. I love how easy they are to make.

JW said...

> Marlena Compton
Thanks for the nice comment! Glad it worked out. Many first timers over cook it and shiso leave or asparagus get too soft or slimey, but sounds like that wasn't the case for you.

ISU 3rd Graders said...

Just went to Japan for the first time last week and loved it. Brought home some shiso leaves and found your idea for what to do with them! Actually I didn't have miso, mirin, or sake, but I used a tsp each of soy sauce, sherry and soju and it worked fine.

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