Backward and Forward

After two years on hiatus, I hope to begin blogging again, soon. In that spirit, I begin today with a recipe in the spirit of embracing my past in creative new ways.

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One of the flavors I miss most from my youth in Japan is shiso–an herb that provides the pink flavor of umeboshi (pickled plums). It has been impossible to find in grocery stores or even Asian markets. But, this past February, while gazing longingly at the pages of the Baker Creek Seed Company‘s gorgeous catalogue, I found seeds for purple shiso! After months of germination and tending I now have a thriving pot of homegrown shiso to play with.

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Today’s playing led to a new chicken salad recipe, which my family enjoyed eating in romaine lettuce boats. I added extra shiso leaves to my boats.

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Plum and Shiso Chicken Salad

(Makes 5-6 one-cup servings)

Ingredients:

3 small chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (mine were from rotisserie chickens)

2 large or 3 medium plums, choppe

1/2 cup whole or slivered almonds

2 Tbsp minced shiso leaves

4 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp mirin

1 tsp soy sauce

Salt to taste

Directions:

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl.

Assemble remaining ingredients in a big bowl, and toss with the wet mixture.

If I had scallions, umeboshi, shiso furikake or that garlic pickled in pink brine, I would have added them somehow, too.if you try any of them, let me know how it goes!

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