Thursday, October 8, 2009

Japanese-inspired Shiso Chirimen Fried Rice

There was a Kyushu food fair going on recently at a supermarket in town. I happened to be there strolling along the aisles in my own carefree moment when a Japanese guy politely smiled and invited me to try out the products he was selling at his booth - a variety of different seaweeds. After tasting of a couple of different flavors, I decided to show him some support and bought a packet of shiso chirimen - which is seaweed with dried anchovies and toasted sesame seeds. According to him, people in Japan eat shiso chirimen with rice at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Further cooking is not necessary as it can be eaten straight from the packet. As my husband and I are both rice-loving people but with some hesitation of eating it with plain rice, I decided to make a simple Japanese-inspired fried rice instead - with lots of chopped garlic!

With the intention to blog about this ingredient, I 'googled' to double check on what shiso chirimen means [not that I didn't trust the Japanese guy!..just that I wanted to enhance my knowledge :)..]. What I found on the web was that shiso refers to a type of plant with paper-thin leaves with jagged edges which is also called perilla or beefsteak plant or chinese basil or purple mint, and chirimen refers to small anchovies. The description of shiso on the web doesn't say anything about it being seaweed at all. So, I'm confused. Is it seaweed or is it not? (If anyone knows, please enlighten me.) But it sure tasted like seaweed & I'm very sure the Japanese guy knows his stuff. Anyway, seaweed or not, it added a really nice leafy flavor to the fried rice and it made up for the need for any other ingredients other than garlic & eggs to whip up an easy, quick & delicious fried rice meal.

shisochirimen1
Shiso chirimen

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Recipe:
- 1 big bowl of cooked long grain rice (best if the rice has been left in the fridge overnight, but not entirely necessary)
- 4-5 pips garlic, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 small bowl of shiso chirimen
- Some mini/cherry tomatoes, halve
- Dash of salt & pepper
- 3 tbsp cooking oil + 1 tsp sesame seed oil

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/pan and break the 2 eggs inside. Stir and fry, breaking the eggs into pieces. When slightly browned, dish out and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and saute the chopped garlic and shallots until they are brown and fragrant. Mix in the shiso chirimen, tomatoes, rice, fried eggs, salt and pepper and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. If it gets too dry, add in 1 tbsp of water at a time if needed while stir frying the rice. Dish up & serve. A simple, quick and inexpensive meal!


Cheers,

32 comments:

  1. I like seaweed, my kids too, but I never seen this here, so I can not try your recipe. Anyway, this rice look so tempting to me.

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  2. shiso/perilla/tia to is an herb, not seaweed. There may be dried shiso in that package that they sold to you.

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  3. I saw shiso chirimen sold at asian market here but never try this rice b4!! bet it's taste good plus must have healthy benefit too! hmmm maybe when I visit asian market again I might grab a bottle of shiso chirimen!! thanks for sharing!

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  4. What a lovely fried rice! Nice recipe and looks delicious too.

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  5. I've never heard of shiso chirimen, but shiso itself is not seaweed. It is as you described - a leaf with jagged edges that's used to flavor things, much the same way that bay leaves are used. I had shiso once in a ramen noodle soup, and I found the leaf to be inedible. So, I'm guessing that shiso chirimen must be seaweed and stuff combined with shiso.

    Well, whatever it really is, you made a fantastic fried rice with it!

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  6. A delicious rice bowl! I've had shiso leaves before - tempura fried, really enjoyed them.

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  7. I like fried rice and shiso chirimen really goes well with it.

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  8. Sonia, maybe Isetan's supermarket might sell it.

    Ravenous Couple & Palidor, thanks for confirming what I learned from the web. Looks like shiso is nothing near seaweed. Palidor, maybe you're right, the shiso chirimen i bought might have some dried seaweed in it. I'm still not sure but at least it taste good :)

    Asian Kitchen, i guess you're right, whether seaweed or not, shiso chirimen is healthy as it is fat-free.

    Bits of Taste, thanks for your comments, it's a simple recipe but really nice to eat.

    5 Star Foodie, now that you've mentioned it, i will look out for tempura fried shiso leaves at my next eat out in a Jap restaurant. thanks!

    Anncoo, yes, cooking it fried rice style does taste great. simple but nice.

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  9. What a wonderful rice dish! I love the seaweed addition along with garlic and eggs. We have an Asian market (The exact name, I have no idea how to spell) where I might be able to find all the ingredients. YUM!

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  10. Looks interesting - I don't know much about Japanese food. The garlic and eggs would add a wonderful flavour.

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  11. Oh, i am a big fan of seaweed, i will practice it very very soon!! thanks for sharing!!! :D

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  12. Another great way to make fried rice. Thanks!

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  13. I bought these separately and mix them myself. Japanese products are not cheap! Don't buy them very often. Btw, thanks for posting it...have inspired me in using it this way.

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  14. I've always wanted to try shiso. This looks amazing!

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  15. Hello Nyonya, wow, it looks delicious. But regret I take a pass on Japanese food.
    You are very good....bet your family always look forward to what mystery dinner you'll be cooking up.
    Have fun, Nyonya and have a pleasant weekend, Lee.

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  16. I so love seaweeds in my food. This looks very tasty too!
    Well done!

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  17. Thank you All for stopping by and leaving your comments. Have been under the weather lately and your comments definitely made me feel better :D.

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  18. Such an interesting post. I have never heard of shiso chirimen, nor just plain shiso. But your rice definitely looks delicious!

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  19. wow..this must be tasty!!! Nyonya... my "to cook" list already long enough for me to finish in 2 years liaoooo!!! I think! LOL!!! Still no time... :-(, have to get prepared for my return trip to Penang in November, this will be a "rush" trip... I have a very BIG and IMPORTANT task to complete. Being too far away from my home country is not so convenient to settle some issues.

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  20. I have never heard of shiso chirmen. I learned something new today!

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  21. The rice bowl looks wonderful with green color.

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  22. I've never heard of shiso chirimen so I have no idea, but it looks tasty. Maybe if I see it at the market, I'll grab some to try.

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  23. get well soon! It is changing the weather here either! :( I dont like winter at all! :(

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  24. I am going to prepare this dish .. with spinach .. not sure I can find the green you use her ein Paris ( and i have spinach in my fridge)

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  25. I thought shiso is that mint-like leaf that's usually used to garnish sashimi. I don't think it's seaweed. But it does look like seaweed from your photo. Love your one-pot fried rice :)

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  26. mmm. japanese rice.
    i love how their seasonings can actually transform how rice tastes like.
    thanks for sharing! it looks really really good!

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  27. This reminds me alot of a do-it-yourself furikake mix that I make with shiso leaves, sesame seeds and salt! I always end up with way too many shiso leaves in summer, and like to use a bunch for a furikake to put on my breakfast rice. This sounds GREAT with the addition of chirimen!

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  28. After reading other comments, I'm wondering if it's seaweed that looks like shiso? At any rate, your rice looks delicious! I love fried rice.

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  29. Hi All, thanks for your comments. I'm still confused actually. The Japanese vendor told me it's seaweed, but the label on the package said shiso & we all know shiso is not seaweed. But tasted & looked like seaweed. So I suspect it was a mixture of seaweed with some shiso leaves in it. Who knows! Haha.

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