Inventory, 100 ct : 6.00
This item was last sold on : 02/18/17
Ooba leaves are oval with serrated edges that point toward their tip. The leaves can grow up to five to seven inches wide, though they are most often harvested at a younger, more delicate age, to prevent the plant from flowering. When the ooba plant flowers, it produces erect flowering stems that have a similar appearance to flowering purple (Thai) basil. The leaves have a mint-anise and citrus flavor and aroma that is best revealed when they are torn or crushed.
Ooba leaves are available year-round with peak season in spring and summer.
Ooba carries many names as its been naturalized throughout many different regions. Its scientific name is perilla. It is also widely known by the vernacular, shiso. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, which contains many other aromatic and herbaceous plants including basil, mint, sage and lavender.
Ooba is most commonly associated with Japanese cuisine where it is a common garnish and accoutrement to sushi, sashimi and noodle dishes. The seeds of the ooba plant are used to create cooking oil and the foliage is used to create an essential oil for flavoring. It has also been used to enhance the flavor of beverages: in 2009, Pepsi Japan introduced Pepsi Shiso to mixed reviews.
Ooba is native to East China where it is both cultivated and grows wild. It is also a traditional crop of India, Japan, Korea and Thailand. As ooba is self-pollinating, it can escape cultivation and grow wild in a wide variety of warm habitats and spreads at an invasive pace. In American agriculture it is considered a poisonous weed as the plant has toxins that can be lethal to cattle and horses.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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