Words are inadequate to describe the flavor of Japanese shiso leaf – citrusy, minty, a bit spicy? Does it belong to the basil family or the cilantro?

Regardless of its ancestry, shiso leaf’s taste is a unique one. You have to try it yourself to understand.

Shiso is quite common in Japanese and Korean cuisines. It compliments all kinds of dishes, particularly meat and seafood.

Love meatballs? Add shiso leaves to your next meatball feast and I guarantee you’ll love it !

5 from 2 votes

Japanese Shiso Leaf Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: ChihYu Smith
Shiso leaves are quite common in Japanese and Korean cuisines. They are citrusy, minty, with a hint of spicy. Perfect compliment to meat and seafood dishes. Love meatballs ? Add shiso leaves to your next meatball feast and I guarantee you’ll love it 
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  • 1 lbs ground veal, , chicken , or pork
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry chilli pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp sweet potato flour or arrowroot flour


  • Combine ground veal with the rest of ingredients and form small golf size balls. 
  • Slightly flatten the meatballs and place one shiso leaf per meatball. Gently press each shiso leaf and meatball together to make sure they don’t fall apart.
  • Preheat a skillet with cooking fat of your choice. Place the meatballs non-shiso-leaf-side down and pan fry until the bottom is golden brown over medium-high heat (about 4-5 minutes). Gently turn the meatball to allow it to fry the other side (about 2-3 minutes). Turn the meatball back again and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until the meat is completely cooked through. 
  • Serve hot & Enjoy!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
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