Ume Shiso Chicken

Discover the vibrant flavors of Japan with my Ume Shiso Chicken recipe! Pan-fried to perfection, these tender chicken bites are coated in a tangy ponzu-based sauce infused with the unique essence of umeboshi and shiso leaves. Elevate your dinner routine with this quick and easy dish bursting with authentic Japanese taste!

Japanese ume shiso pan seared chicken recipe served on a plate with a pair of chopsticks close up.

Why I Love This Recipe

If you’re like me and always craving authentic Japanese flavors bursting with tangy and zesty savory goodness, then my Ume Shiso Chicken recipe is a must-try! I’ve made this recipe using real umeboshi pickled plums and aromatic shiso leaves mixed with my handcrafted sauce where the essence of Japanese cuisine all comes together in just 7 minutes, and who doesn’t love a fuss free recipe that is quick to make!

Utilizing my proven chicken pan-searing method from my Hibachi Chicken and Garlic Chicken Stir Fry recipes, I ensure that each bite is perfectly golden brown and infused with the unique flavors of umeboshi and shiso! So why wait? Let’s dive right in and make this Ume Shiso Chicken the star of your Japanese-inspired meal tonight, I promise you will love it!



  • Chicken – boneless and skinless chicken thigh. Can sub with chicken breast if preferred.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil.
  • Salt – se salt preferred.
  • Black Pepper – ground.
  • Umeboshi  Japanese pickled plums. Regular, shiso or honey flavor, can substitute with ume paste.
  • Shiso  Japanese herb found at Japanese grocery stores. Can substitute with perilla leaves but will alter the taste.
  • Wasabi  premixed Wasabi Paste in a tube.
  • Ponzu – a citrus flavored soy sauce found in most Japanese supermarkets, Mizkan brand preferred.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

🥢Umeboshi Note

When selecting umeboshi for this dish, you have the option of Regular, Shiso, or Honey flavors. While any variety can be used, I Recommend Honey flavor to complement the zesty flavors of the dish. However, feel free to choose the flavor that best suits your preference and taste preferences.

🍗 Chicken Note

You can easily substitute chicken thigh with Chicken Breast in this recipe if preferred.

Japanese umeboshi pickled plums and ume paste tube to be used in a pan seared Japanese chicken recipe.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

  • Wok or Deep Large Skillet


☑ Before Getting Started

It’s best to select a Wok or Deep Large Skillet to make this recipe. This provides ample space for the chicken to cook evenly and ensures consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

Step 1 In a mixing bowl, combine chopped umeboshi, diced shiso leaves, wasabi paste, zesty ponzu, and toasted sesame oil.

Sauce for chicken ume shiso in a mixing bowl.

Step 2 Next, cook bite-sized cubed chicken in a well-oiled frying pan, seasoning with salt and black pepper and pan frying for 4-5 minutes until a golden crust is formed.

Cubed chicken being pan fried.

🍳 Stir Frying Pro Tip

Avoid Overcrowding the pan as it can lead to steaming instead of stir-frying, resulting in soggy rather than crispy chicken. Rather Cook in Batches if needed.

Step 3 Remove the pan from heat, mix in the sauce, and transfer to a serving plate.

Japanese ume shiso chicken served on a plate.

💡 Garnishing Pro Tip

For added flavor and visual appeal, garnish with Toasted Sesame Seeds.

Pairing Recommendations

Complement your Ume Shiso Chicken with Japanese-inspired sides like Japanese Okra Salad or Japanese Spinach Salad, along with a bowl of Tofu Miso Soup and your preferred rice for a complete Japanese inspired meal.

Japanese ume shiso pan seared chicken recipe served on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is umeboshi?

Umeboshi is a traditional Japanese ingredient made from pickled plums, known for its tangy and salty flavor profile. These plums are typically pickled with salt, dried shiso leaves or honey, resulting in a distinctive taste that adds depth to various Japanese dishes. Commonly used as a condiment or flavor enhancer, umeboshi can be found in paste or whole form and is renowned for its unique umami-rich taste.

Can I substitute umeboshi with other ingredients?

While it's challenging to find a direct substitute for umeboshi due to its unique flavor profile, you can opt for umeboshi paste as an alternative. Umeboshi paste is made by crushing umeboshi plums and is available for purchase online. Though it may not provide the exact same flavor as whole umeboshi, it offers a convenient way to incorporate similar tangy and salty notes into your dishes.

What does shiso taste like?

Shiso has a unique flavor profile that can be described as earthy and herb like with hints of mint, basil, and anise. Its distinct taste adds depth and complexity to dishes, enhancing both savory and sweet flavors.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate. When stored properly, the leftovers will maintain their freshness and flavor for 5 to 7 days in the fridge.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese ume shiso pan seared chicken recipe served on a plate.

Ume Shiso Chicken

Indulge in the savory delight of Ume Shiso Chicken - a flavorful Japanese-inspired dish featuring tender chicken infused with the tangy essence of umeboshi pickled plums and aromatic shiso leaves. Discover the perfect balance of savory and zesty flavors in this easy-to-make recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ume shiso chicken
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 629kcal


  • 1 lbs Chicken Thigh boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil neutral, no flavor or taste
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Umeboshi chopped, can sub with ume paste
  • 4 Shiso Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Wasabi Paste
  • 2 tbsp Ponzu
  • 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed optional


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients to make Japanese chicken ume shiso recipe.
  • Chop chicken thighs into bite-size cubes and set aside.
    Cubed chicken thigh.
  • De-pit umeboshi and finely chop along with shiso leaves as shown below.
    Chopped umeboshi.
  • In a mixing bowl, add chopped umeboshi, chopped shiso leaves, wasabi paste, ponzu, toasted sesame oil and mix until well combined.
    Sauce for chicken ume shiso in a mixing bowl.
  • In a large frying pan, add cooking oil and bring up to temp on high heat. Once up to temp, reduce heat to medium-high, add in chicken, sprinkle on salt and black pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes while occasionally stirring or until chicken is browned.
    Cubed chicken being pan fried.
  • Once chicken is browned, remove from heat, mix in the sauce from step 4) and then transfer to a serving plate. Top with optional toasted sesame seed and enjoy hot!
    Japanese ume shiso chicken served on a plate.


Calories: 629kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 473mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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  1. Hi, this looks delicious, but the grocery stores in my area don’t have shiso. What herb would you recommend instead?

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Jen! Since shiso has such a unique taste, I can’t think of a proper substitute for it. It may be best to try to use Ume Shiso Paste instead. This already has a mix of ume and shisho. Hope that helps!

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