Shiso Delicious

Unless you're Japanese or have visited Japan, you've probably never heard of the dish shiso hasami age ($5). It's definitely worth discovering, and Umai (8400 Bellaire, 713-750-9222) appears to be the only place in town where it's served. Shrimp and shiitake mushrooms are minced together and formed into flat disks that are wrapped in shiso leaves, covered in tempura batter and then deep-fried. Shiso, which is often referred to as Japanese mint, looks like a basil leaf and has hints of mint and licorice. The shiso, fish and mushroom combination makes for some amazing flavors. One order comes with two disks that are each cut in half and balanced on top of each other. Pyramids of finely diced daikon (Japanese radish), ginger and scallions are served on the side, and you place these in the accompanying bowl of tempura sauce for even more flavor.


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