August 9, 2010
I mention all the time that there’s a Greenmarket every Wednesday outside of my work. There’s an awesome Korean-owned farm, who always have Japanese cucumbers, eggplants and shishito peppers. This season, shiso is abundant as well. I only buy shiso there since everything else is extremely expensive. On top of it, the next tent sells the same Japanese eggplants for $2.50/1lb, instead of $7.
Every week, I ask myself if I should tell the potheads from Upstate that the next tent sells the same shit three times as much, or if I should tell Koreans that they are too expensive. Nah, Koreans remember me since I buy shiso every week, and potheads are kinda cute, in a very pothead kind of way. By the way, the Sun Fed Beef guy, as well as the fish monger (the young one) are the cutest of the bunch.
Anyhow, I bought a couple of bunches of shiso ($2 for a huge bunch). Theses are a lot more fragrant and taste stronger compared to the ones you buy at the grocery store. When I have lots of shiso, I usually wash, dry, sprinkle salt over them and stack them and it keeps in the fridge for like half a year. But these are a bit too small, so I decided to do something else. What should I do with a bunch of shiso leaves? I remember I had shiso granita at some Japanese restaurant as an amuse bouche, and decided to make it.
It’s pretty simple. You first put leaves in food processor (the above amount was way too much by the way). I think the portion could be two packs of shiso (about 20 leaves), three cups of water, one cup of sugar (or less), and six limes.
Put water and sugar in a pan and boil it until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, mix shiso and lime juice. Once sugar water cools a bit, mix everything together. The key here is to make it very light, so make sure to taste it and if you think it’s too sweet, add more water.
Put the mixture into the freezer, and make sure you scrape it every so often, so it doesn’t solidify into one gigantic ice cube.
I thought I screwed up by putting in too much sugar, or too much shiso. It could have be a bit less sweet, but I am surprised how good this turned out. As you saw, it’s super easy, and if you have a big supply of shiso, definitely try it. It’s a very refreshing summer dessert.