Fast, easy and healthy asian pestos using shiso and edamame

A great way to use a lot of fresh shiso leaves is to make a pesto, Asian style.  I was inspired by traditional pesto but replaced the basil with shiso and the pine nuts with widely-available edamame soy beans.  Asian flavors give the pesto lots of umami.

When shiso grows in abundance during the hot summer and early fall, making something that is cool to eat and fast to make without heat is welcome.  All you need is a stick blender and one container like a glass measuring cup.

For this recipe, I recommend using the more aromatic green shiso vs. the red.

A peachy pinot gris or floral gewurztraminer would be my pick for pairing.


Thai-style asian pesto with shiso herb and edamame

Makes about one cup of pesto to serve 3-4


1 ½ cups loosely packed green shiso

½ cup edamame

½ cup low-fat coconut milk

2 tablespoons thai fish sauce

Juice from one large lime (about 2 tbls)

1 tablespoon agave sweetener

Dried chili flakes/jalapeno to taste


Whir the above with a stick blender and mix with flat rice noodles.  Add julienne carrots, green onions and/or cilantro for garnish and have some sriracha on the side.  Grilled shrimp would be a great accompaniment.