Perilla. Japanese basil. A commonly used herb in Japanese cuisine and has a distinctive flavour, vaguely reminiscent of rue. It is rich in carotene, vitamin C and iron. There is a red-leaved variety and a green-leaved variety. Select leaves that are fragrant and have a fresh green colour. Perilla is used chopped as a seasoning in chilled tofu, as a garnish with salads and sashimi, and in deep-fried dishes.