Cut the stem off the shiso leaf, and cut the sliced cheese in half. Just pop the other half in your mouth.
Open up the chikuwa with cleaned kitchen scissors.
Score the inside of the chikuwa in a crisscross pattern with a knife. It's hard to cut since it rolls up, but it's important to do this in order to roll the chikuwa cleanly. The scores can be messy.
Place the chikuwa with the outside (brown side) up, and put the shiso leaf and cheese on top. Place them so that the ends that will be at the end of the roll won't overlap, as shown.
The bottom will stick out a bit, but just ignore that and roll everything up.
Secure with picks in 3 places.
Cut in between the picks.
Done. You can cut off the excess shiso leaf that sticks out if you like. I don't cut it.
This is very popular and used a lot in our house. To make it more colorful, add edamame to the picks too.
Story Behind this Recipe
I found it too much work to try to stuff cheese into the holes of chikuwa, so I started rolling them instead, and progressed to this stage. I've been making this for my family for 5 years - it's a long-running hit!
The key is to adjust the way the cheese and shiso leaf are layered so that they don't get stacked up at the end of the roll. Although it's a bit extra work, score the chikuwa since those scores are really important in making the chikuwa easier to roll.