Chilled Spaghetti with Shiso Pesto

Chilled Spaghetti with Shiso Pesto

The summer heat can really get your appetite down. On those kinds of days, I serve this chilled spaghetti with green shiso leaves and lots of sesame seeds. I've flavored it with traditional Japanese ingredients so that it's light and easy to eat.

Ingredients: 2 generous servings or 3 regular servings

3 cloves (about 15 g peeled)
☆Olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml)
Ground sesame seeds
4 tablespoons (about 30 g)
Shiso leaves
40 leaves (about 25 g)
★ Olive oil
6 tablespoons (90 ml)
★ Finely grated cheese
2 tablespoons (about 14 g)
★ Kombu tea
1 teaspoon
★ Chicken soup stock granules
1 teaspoon
★ Black pepper
1/3 teaspoon
★ Soy sauce
1 teaspoon
★ Mirin
2 teaspoons
★ Lemon juice
a bit less than 1/2 teaspoon
★ Salt
a tiny amount
350 g
Shiso leaves to finish
2 to 3 (shredded)
Toasted sesame seeds to finish
to taste, optional
Shredded nori seaweed to finish
to taste, optional


1. Slice the ☆ garlic. Put into a frying pan with the olive oil, and cook over low heat until fragrant. Let cool.
2. Dry roast the ground sesame seeds until it's fragrant. Let cool.
3. Wash the shiso leaves and pat dry well. If they are still wet, the flavor will be diluted, so pat dry well with paper towels.
4. Use a food mill, food processor or blender to grind up the ☆ garlic and oil, ground sesame seeds, shiso leaves and ★ ingredients together into a paste. Chill in the refrigerator.
5. Cook the spaghetti in salted water for 30 seconds to a minute longer than indicated on the package.
6. Rinse the cooked spaghetti in running water to cool. Put it in a bowl of ice water to firm the noodles.
7. Drain very well, transfer to a bowl, and toss with the chilled shiso sauce.
8. Sprinkle with shredded shiso leaves, sesame seeds, and shredded nori seaweed and serve.

Story Behind this Recipe

I made this shiso and sesame seed packed dish as a way to combat summer fatigue.