Sunday, July 17, 2011

Gazpacho with Shiso Oil: Spicy, Cold & Complex for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I have been meaning to make Ming Tsai's Gazpacho with Shiso Oil for ages now and got a reminder when the Shiso & Tomatoes episode of his PBS series Simply Ming featuring it was recently re-aired.

You may be more familiar with shiso as perilla, a member of the mint family but with a more complex flavor. Purple shiso has a bit more of a fennel or anise essence and the green leaves have sort of a cinnamon edge to them. You can read more about it here.

In Ming's recipe, the shiso is made into an oil which floats on top of a spicy gazpacho that has a few leaves of shiso blended in.

All in, the recipe required 36 leaves for a full batch and since my little shiso plant doesn't have that many leaves total, I picked up a few little bags of the leaves at the farmers market, along with most of the veggies and the bread for the croutons.

You can find the recipe on Ming's site here.

Gazpacho with Shiso Oil
From Simply Ming, Ming Tsai
(Serves 4)

For the Gazpacho:
1 English cucumber, peeled, and rough chopped
3 large red heirloom tomatoes, core removed and, rough chopped
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 red onion, peeled, and rough chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeño, rough chopped
4 shiso leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the Shiso Oil:
2 garlic cloves
32 shiso leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
dash of water if needed

In a blender combine the cucumber, tomatoes, rice vinegar, tamari, and Worcestershire blend to combine. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, and 4 shiso leaves. Blend to combine. Check for seasoning. Strain mixture. Chill well. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the garlic clove, shiso and extra virgin olive oil and season. Serve in chilled martini glass and drizzle in shiso oil. Garnish with sautéd mini croutons.

Notes/Results: Excellent--a unique Asian-style take on gazpacho with the flavors of the rice vinegar, tamari and shiso. The jalapeño adds a good note of spiciness and the croutons and flavorful shiso oil drizzled on top take it to the next level. The soup is simple to make and the components should be made ahead of time so the flavors have a chance to blend and the soup has time to chill. The only cooking that is needed is to sauté some small pieces of bread in olive oil on the stove top to garnish--which is optional but really delicious in the soup.

The soup looks pretty in the martini glass with the green shiso oil drizzled on top. Alternatively, you could serve very small portions in shot glasses with the oil layered on top and a large shrimp or two hooked over the side as a pupu. I would make this again.

Let's take a look into the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here this week:

First up is Amritha from AK's Vegetarian Recipe World with this golden-hued Creamy Butternut Squash Soup. Amritha says, "...we tasted this butternut squash soup and I fell in love with this soup immediately. It was so rich and creamy. I can never forget the taste of it ever. We really loved the soup. ... So I decided to make this at home but never got a chance till now. When I went to my market this week for my veggies, I found butternut squash and I picked it immediately. So, today, I am presenting to you all my fav butternut squash soup."

girlichef has two dishes to share this week, starting with Jamie Oliver's Rustic "Tortilla" Soup. She says, "Yes, I say "tortilla" soup...because this is a very loose definition of this bowl of soup. It's a veggie soup with tortilla croutons. It's pretty far as Tortilla Soup goes, that is. I mean, it's a tasty veggie soup. There's no heat and no flavor profile of a Tortilla Soup. The added raw jalapeño as garnish does add some fire, but without it and the tortilla chips, you wouldn't guess it to be what it's labeled. That said, don't be discouraged, it's a good soup in and of itself."

Also here with a soup and a salad in Janet from The Taste Space. Her soup is this hearty Roasted Carrot and Lentil Soup with Harissa and Mint. Janet says, "...caramelized, roasted carrots and onions are combined to create a silky sweet soup with lentils. That alone would be a nice soup, but the twist comes from the lemon and mint, and of course the harissa. With my mild-mannered harissa, the soup easily handled 2 tbsp but add with caution because harissa can vary from mild to incredibly spicy! Sweet, sour and spicy… we know this is a winning combination. :)"

girlichef second contribution is this gorgeous Fruit and Grains Salad with Edible Strawberry Vinaigrette inspired by loosing herself in the current Cook the Books selection, Garden Spells. She says, "If you like getting lost, too...grab a plate of this salad packed with lettuces, herbs, fruits and edible flowers straight from the earth around my yard and community garden with some added grains and nuts to make it a satisfying meal. The combination of nasturtiums and marigolds should guarantee your affection of the book in hand."

Janet's salad offering is this flavorful Bulgur and Cantaloupe Salad with Hazelnuts and Mint. She says, "Cantaloupe very rarely gets paired with anything… a loner, or sometimes with honeydew. Hidden within a fruit salad, it can go unnoticed. Or shunned when it takes centre stage. I enjoy combining fruit into savoury dishes, and my curiosity was piqued when some friends recommended the bulgur and cantaloupe salad in Supermarket Vegan. Here, we have a seemingly simple salad but the citrus-spiked bulgur salad works incredibly well with the cantaloupe. As with any salad, quality ingredients make this jump to the next level."

It is always nice to have Sharon (The Travel Cook) from here. This week she has a healthy Sweet Potato Salad to share and says, "When most of us think of potato salad, we envision it made with white potatoes, often chef potatoes or red potatoes. ... At slightly less than 100 calories for a medium (77 grams) tuber baked in its skin, health - conscious food consumers choose sweet potatoes for their many nutritional benefits, not the least of which is beta-carotene (Vitamin A). ... Note that this recipe calls for cooked cooled sweet potato. Its an ideal way to use that one leftover roasted or steamed sweet potato."

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food made a simple Roasted Artichoke Hearts Salad and says, "A simple salad to prepare if you enjoy artichokes. I do not mind the taste of artichokes - but it's such a chore in terms of preparation. Getting by another alternative, let's try artichokes hearts from a can/glass jar! Well, the flavors of fresh artichokes can never beat the canned ones - but in this salad, let the citrus tang and peppery kick entice you."

Carol of There's Always Thyme to Cook tried Jamie Oliver's Mexican Street Salad (Cole Slaw) and says, "I loved it, it had a real tangy flavor from the lime. I should have let it sit a bit before I served it but as usual I was rushed. The kids didn't love it. I think next time I would mix the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and jalapeno in a jar to combine it really well, rather than separately, I think the kids would have liked it better that way. I added avocado's because everything is better with avocado. At least we think so! I'd make this one again. Maybe add a little ancho chili powder or some cumin to the dressing, maybe even a little chipotle, too!"

One yummy sandwich this week, these Stuffed Hot Sausage Meatball Subs from Kim at Stirring the Pot. Kim says, "So, don't let the pictures of this ordinary-looking meatball sub fool you. In my highly panicked state of frenzy I forgot to take pictures of the money shot, which would be the gooey mozzarella cheese oozing out of the meatballs. Yes, not only are these meatballs ginormous, but they are made with hot italian sausage, and they are stuffed with cubes of mozzarella. This sub is like the King of Meatball Subs!"

Some terrific soups and salads and even a decadent sandwich this week--a big thanks to all who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo for all of the details.

Have a healthy, happy week!


  1. I love gazpacho, especially with a little heat! Looks delicious with the bread. The shiso is new to me, I'll have to look for it. I enjoy Simply Ming, great show.
    Another nice round-up this week! Thanks for hosting.

  2. That shiso oil over the gaspacho is such magic. I have not tried shiso or shiso oil before but it looks very attractive.

  3. What a beautiful and informative post! I always love to try a new gazpacho recipe and this one sounds so unique - thank you for sharing:)

  4. sounds and looks very summery!

  5. I've heard of shiso but I've never used it. That's a fabulous-looking take on gazpacho though!

  6. I'm not familiar with shiso at all, but it was definitely fun to read and learn about it! What an interesting soup!

  7. I love those shiso leaves...their shape is beautiful (i'm not familiar at all). While I'm not the hugest gazpacho fan, I actually WANT to try this version, it looks and sounds fantastic. I love the shooter w/ the shrimp, especially...that may be the perfect way for me to enjoy it! Thanks for the beautiful roundup, Deb :D

  8. I've never tried shiso but maybe I will consider growing it next year. It sucks when you have to buy an herb you planted because you don't want to denude the plant!

    Lovely round-up, as always, Deb.

  9. Carol--thanks for joining in. Hope you find some shiso. If you have any Asian markets around, try there

    Tigerfish--thanks! It adds a nice touch but if you can't find you could get a similar effect with a cilantro-mint oil. ;-)

    Glamorous--Thank you for stopping by!

    Rebecca--thank you! ;-)

    Kat--Mahalo! ;-)

    Foodycat--thanks! It is a fun herb to play around with. ;-)

    Joanne--thank you! I am sure you can find it somewhere in New York as shiso or perilla if you ever want to try it. ;-)

    girlichef--thank you! This is definitely a different take on gazpacho so you might really enjoy it. ;-)

    Janet--well I don't feel too bad in this case as my plant is a baby yet and I bought the leaves from the cute little local farmers near my house so I got to support them a bit. ;-)

  10. I haven't used shiso (or even seen it in real life ;)), so I'll bookmark this recipe in case I can get it somewhere.

  11. Just made gazpacho over the weekend with my mother, but it was too late to send to you. Good thin, cuz your's looks fantastic. Will try to catch up again this weekend, Deb!

  12. I've been making gazpacho ever since the tomatoes started coming in, and I never get tired of it. Occasionally to fill out a meal, I'll serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich -- a twist on the old Campbell's tomato soup and grilled cheese we used to eat when we were kids.

  13. That gazpacho looks beautiful! I was never a big fan but I don't know, suddenly my mouth is watering as I'm looking at that photo. Mmmmmmm.


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