Shiso on the Rise – Shikata ga nai
With apologies for my bad Japanese, I think the phrase translates as: “it can’t be helped.” It’s commonly used to respond to something unpleasant that is beyond one’s control. It represents a willingness to accept that which is inevitable. Some might call it resignation but I think it’s more the acceptance aspect it connotes. (Mom, jump in any time here!)
This is my feeling every time shiso appears as in the above standard sushi plate. I have even enjoyed it in small quantities in elegant sushi preparations such at my wonderful o-makase meal at the award-winning Leather District hot spot, O Ya. Properly used, shiso adds a unique aromatic note to a dish or a cocktail. Last summer I developed a a shiso mojito recipe for a reader. Her friend had a bumper crop and offered her a bunch.
Now, one of my favorite food pages, the Los Angeles Times, announces its popularity is on the rise in restaurants all over, restaurants of various types. Shikata ga nai.
The article, An Inviting Herbal Accent, is a good introduction to those who might be less familiar with this aromatic herb. It includes a number of different uses to consider. I understand this grows very easily, just like mint. So why not try out this new Japanese import?
For great reference material on almost any herb or spice question, see Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages.