• Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 1
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 2
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 3
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 4
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True! 5

Top 18 Best Japanese Perilla Seed Oils to Buy Online 2020 - Tried and True!

Perilla oil, which is called egoma-abura in Japanese, is extracted from the seeds of the plant Perilla frutescens. Perilla is often used to describe the shiso plant common for culinary uses: this is actually a different variety although a close relative. Recently perilla oil has become popular for the large amount of naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids it contains - in particular, alpha-linoleic acid.


Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and supermarkets for the best perilla oils available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
We focused on 2 things:


  1. How much alpha-linoleic acid does it contain?
  2. How does it taste?

We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese perilla oils available online.

  • Last updated: 01-10-2020
  • 24 views
Table of Contents

What's So Special about Perilla Oil?

Perilla oil is pressed from the seeds of Perilla frutescens, a perennial plant in the Labiatae family. In Korea and in the Hida region of Japan, this oil has been consumed since ancient times, but now it is gaining worldwide recognition for its health effects.

It's Rich in Alpha-linoleic Acid

It's Rich in Alpha-linoleic Acid

Alpha-linoleic acid is an essential omega-3 fatty acid which is converted to DHA and EPA in the body. This acid is not produced by the human body, so must be obtained through food. 


The Japanese ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recommends a daily intake of 0.6 to 0.8 ounces of omega-3s for adults. You'd need to eat about 3 oily fish per day, or a large amount of walnuts or soybeans to reach this goal. However, you can achieve this healthy target with only one teaspoon of perilla oil!

There's Evidence it Helps with Allergy Control and Anti-aging

There's Evidence it Helps with Allergy Control and Anti-aging

Although its effects are still being researched, the fact that it helps the body to produce DHA and EPA--which in turn lower bad cholesterol and convert it to good cholesterol--make alpha-linoleic acid a sought-after supplement. There is evidence that it improves blood flow; suppresses allergies; slows aging; improves brain function; and helps to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.


It could also be beneficial for those who suffer from allergic dermatitis. Many processed foods such as bread, mayonnaise, and instant noodles contain high amounts of the omega-6 fatty acid (non-alpha) linoleic acid. An overdose of this acid can lead to allergic reactions and heart disease, but this can be balanced by consuming more omega-3s.

Top 18 Japanese Perilla Oils to Buy Online

We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for flavor and how much alpha-linoleic acid they contained. Then, based on our tests, we ranked the top 18 Japanese perilla oils available online.

Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.

1
Japaneseオーサワオーサワのえごま油
Quantity5 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage68%+
Production methodFirst press
Country of originJapan
Taste3.6
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.8
Overall score4.3
2

Okuizumo Nakamura FarmOkuizumo Perilla Oil

$27.69

Japanese奥出雲中村ファーム奥出雲えごま油 えにしの雫
Quantity1.75 oz. x 2 bottles
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage67.5%
Production methodRaw cold-pressed
Country of originJapan
Taste3.4
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.8
Overall score4.2
3

CococureExtra Virgin Cold Pressed 100% Organic Perilla Oil

$15.80

JapaneseCOCOCURE黄金えごま油
Quantity3.4 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage62%+
Production methodCold-pressed
Country of originKorea
Taste3.8
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.2
Overall score4.0
4
Japanese飛騨えごま本舗生搾りえごま油
Quantity3.5 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%
Production methodCold-pressed
Country of originJapan
Taste3.9
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score4.0
5
Japanese太田油脂えごまオイル
Quantity6.4 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%
Production methodPressed
Country of originChina
Taste3.9
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score4.0
6

ChangbaiOrganic JAS Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Perilla Oil

$12.96

Japanese長白工坊有機JAS低温圧搾 無添加オーガニック エキストラバージンえごまオイル
Quantity3.9 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%+
Production methodCold-pressed
Country of originEU/USA/China
Taste3.9
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score4.0
7
Japanese朝日えごま油
Quantity6 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%
Production methodFirst cold-pressed
Country of originChina
Taste3.8
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score3.9
8
Japaneseエス・エス・ビーえごま油
Quantity4 oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%+
Production methodFirst cold-pressed
Country of originN/A
Taste3.7
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score3.9
9
Japanese紅花食品荏胡麻油
Quantity6oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage60%
Production methodMechanical pressing
Country of originChina
Taste3.6
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.0
Overall score3.8

Compare the Best Japanese Perilla Oils

Image
1
Osawa Osawa Perilla Oil 1

Osawa

2
Okuizumo Nakamura Farm Okuizumo Perilla Oil 1

Okuizumo Nakamura Farm

3
Cococure Extra Virgin Cold Pressed 100% Organic Perilla Oil 1

Cococure

4
Hida Egome Honpo Organic Life Raw Pressed Perilla Oil 1

Hida Egome Honpo

5
Ota Oils Perilla Seed Oil 1

Ota Oils

6
Changbai Organic JAS Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Perilla Oil 1

Changbai

7
Asahi Asahi Perilla Oil 1

Asahi

8
SSB Perilla Oil 1

SSB

9
Benibana Foods Perilla Oil 1

Benibana Foods

Name

Osawa Perilla Oil

Okuizumo Perilla Oil

Extra Virgin Cold Pressed 100% Organic Perilla Oil

Organic Life Raw Pressed Perilla Oil

Perilla Seed Oil

Organic JAS Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Perilla Oil

Asahi Perilla Oil

Perilla Oil

Perilla Oil

Featuresmybest's Top Choice! Anyone...The Freshest One You Can Buy!The Best Organic Perilla OilA Tasty Perilla Oil to Add ...A Great Oil with Neutral Ta...The Best Perilla Oil for Be...The Perilla Oil That's Easi...A Well-rounded Choice with ...Recommended as a Mild, Rich...
Price$24.92$27.69$15.80$26.60$9.68$12.96$9.05$7.71$8.30
Japaneseオーサワオーサワのえごま油奥出雲中村ファーム奥出雲えごま油 えにしの雫COCOCURE黄金えごま油飛騨えごま本舗生搾りえごま油太田油脂えごまオイル長白工坊有機JAS低温圧搾 無添加オーガニック エキストラバージンえごまオイル朝日えごま油エス・エス・ビーえごま油紅花食品荏胡麻油
Quantity5 oz.1.75 oz. x 2 bottles3.4 oz.3.5 oz.6.4 oz.3.9 oz.6 oz.4 oz.6oz.
Alpha-linoneic acid percentage68%+67.5%62%+60%60%60%+60%60%+60%
Production methodFirst pressRaw cold-pressedCold-pressedCold-pressedPressedCold-pressedFirst cold-pressedFirst cold-pressedMechanical pressing
Country of originJapanJapanKoreaJapanChinaEU/USA/ChinaChinaN/AChina
Taste3.63.43.83.93.93.93.83.73.6
Alpha-linoleic acid content4.84.84.24.04.04.04.04.04.0
Overall score4.34.24.04.04.04.03.93.93.8
Link

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

And why they didn't quite make it.

Hepyo Raw Perilla Oil from Shinshin is cold-pressed and has a fragrance of sesame and a flavor of green tea. It has an oily, soft mouthfeel. They reason it didn't score higher is that some of our tasters thought it had a bit of astringency. It wouldn't be a problem if you plan to pair it with strong-flavored food.

Tencho Food Manufacturer's perilla oil is first cold-pressed, as well as additive- and dye-free. It has a high percentage of alpha-linoleic acid and a beautiful color with a fragrant, slightly sweet taste. The flavor of sesame comes out strongly, so some think it would be better to add just at the end of cooking rather than as a dressing. It has an aftertaste of tannins, but it doesn't linger.

This perilla oil from TopValu is easy to buy at Aeon grocery stores. It comes in a double-walled bottle to prevent oxidation which is easy to hold and dispense. It has a neutral color and taste as well as a gentle aroma. It was really easy to imagine incorporating it into meals, and it's inexpensive. However, it has a lower percentage of alpha-linoleic acid than others that we tested.

Sokensha's perilla oil is actually a blend with sesame oil. It smells appetizing and could easily be used on salads, over rice, or in Chinese soups. We'd recommend it for anyone who wants a familiar-smelling oil. Unfortunately, because it's a blend, it has less alpha-linoleic acid than others.

Best Amenity Domestic Perilla Oil is pressed on demand after you order it. The quality and freshness are highly reliable. It has a smooth texture with no oily feeling. Some tasters thought it tasted similar to green tea, but others thought the herbaceous taste was too strong. However, it isn't bitter or medicinal, so you could incorporate into your everyday diet.

Mosim Raw Perilla Oil from Komega received an Excellent taste Award from the International Taste Review Organization. The taste is strong, with a sweetness of grains, and it has a rich texture and dark color. It is raw pressed at low temperatures. The reason we didn't score it higher is because of the taste; while pleasant, we thought it would be hard to find food to pair it with. But give it a try if you aren't concerned with versatility.

Domestic Perilla Seed Oil from Ota has a rich flavor, but we didn't like it much beyond that. The texture seems light, but was a bit slimy. The smell of tannins and herbs was too strong to use on salads or light foods, so we recommend mixing it into soups or flavorful drinks.

Benibana Foods' Black Perilla Oil is extracted from prized black perilla seeds. Although it has a rich, savory taste, the smell is a bit too raw and herbaceous. The texture is also kind of flat. It would be okay if mixed into miso or other soups.

This Blended Perilla Oil from Ajinomoto (J-Oil Mills) is basically cooking oil with alpha-linoleic acid (and not much, at that). This isn't perhaps surprising considering the price. It's blended with corn oil, so the taste and smell are minimal, but the aftertaste is unpleasant. It's just oily. We wouldn't use it to shine as an ingredient.

How We Tested the Perilla Oils

How We Tested the Perilla Oils

We tested each product to find out how it tasted and how much alpha-linoleic acid it offered.

Test ① How Much Alpha-linoleic Acid Does It Contain?

Test ① How Much Alpha-linoleic Acid Does It Contain?

We calculated the amount of alpha-linoleic acid each product contained by converting the amounts listed on the packaging into percentages. After all, that's the main reason for buying this oil. But would higher amounts give it a medicinal taste?

Spoiler: Alpha-linoeic Acid Percentage Has No Effect on Flavor!

Spoiler: Alpha-linoeic Acid Percentage Has No Effect on Flavor!

Our results showed that taste is not affected by alpha-linoleic content, so there's no reason to choose one with a low percentage. Of the ones we tested, the acid levels ranged from a high of 68% to 12% in a blended oil, with the average for all products being 60%. We definitely recommend choosing one with a high content to get the health benefits without having to consume too much oil.

Test ② How Did it Taste?

Test ② How Did it Taste?

If you want to get the health benefits of perilla oil, you need to ingest it every day. That will be hard to do if it doesn't taste good! The ones we tested ranged from affordable ones available at supermarkets to more expensive high-grade oils.

Japanese-made Oils Tasted the Best

Japanese-made Oils Tasted the Best

Our tests showed that ones produced domestically in Japan were the most palatable. Many of the Japanese ones also were refreshingly scented or almost odorless, and very easy to ingest. In particular, the oil from SSB had a very good mouthfeel that wasn't too oily. 


On the other hand, if the flavor and the texture are too rich and thick, the oil will overpower the flavor of the dish that you use it in. It will also be unpalatable if you take it by the spoonful. Since you're ideally going to eat this everyday, make sure that it's something that you can enjoy the taste of.

How to Choose a Perilla Oil - Buying Guide

Not all products are the same, and there are many on the market. There are three points to consider when choosing a perilla oil.

① Choose The Best Pressing Method

There are two main pressing methods used when making perilla oil: with heat and without heat. Here are the characteristics of each.

Cold-pressed Oils are the Most Nutritious

Cold-pressed Oils are the Most Nutritious

Perilla oil is made by pressing the seeds and separating the oil. Cold-pressing is not expensive, but it takes longer, so some manufacturers use heat to process oils. The problem with this, though, is that temperatures for this method can range from 140 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, and alpha-linoleic acid is very heat-sensitive and deteriorates quickly. Think cold-pressed juice.


Cold-pressing means that the seeds are heated to about 100℉, dried, then pressed to extract the oil without losing nutrients.

Raw-pressed Oils Taste Fresh

Raw-pressed Oils Taste Fresh

Another method is raw pressing. The seeds are not heated at all, but rather pressed as they are. This method provides a very fresh product, and is recommended by the Japanese Egoma (Perilla) Promotion Association. However, it's incredibly time-consuming, which means it's also more expensive. If you're concerned about freshness, though, this is the way to go.

Chemical Extraction Yields a Lot of Oil but at the Risk of Losing Valuable Nutrients

Chemical Extraction Yields a Lot of Oil but at the Risk of Losing Valuable Nutrients

There is one other method to obtain oils, which is chemical extraction. A solvent is used to dissolve the oil efficiently, but this results in severe destruction of nutrients. This method is not very common for perilla oil, and most manufacturers avoid it. But we recommend being cautious about perilla oils that don't list an extraction method.

② Select One with a High Alpha-linoleic Content

② Select One with a High Alpha-linoleic Content

If you're buying perilla oil for health reasons, you definitely want to get one with the most alpha-linoleic acid possible. You might think, "Well, it's healthy, so if it doesn't have much alpha-linoleic acid I'll just eat more!" But it's still oil, and eating too much oil leads to increased cholesterol and weight gain


The recommended daily intake for alpha-linoleic acid is about 0.07 ounces, so if the oil contains about 60%, you can get the amount you need in half a teaspoon. When the amount is reduced to 30%, you'd need two spoonfuls.

③ Buy Small Amounts So it Gets Used up Before Oxidizing

③ Buy Small Amounts So it Gets Used up Before Oxidizing

Perilla oil oxidizes easily, and this causes the smell and taste to change. It's best to use it up within one to two months after opening to avoid yucky oil. If you plan to eat a spoonful every day, you'll use up about a 6-ounce bottle each month.


Storage methods are important too - keep it in a cool, dark place before opening, store it in the refrigerator after opening, and use it up as quickly as possible. There are some products which come in light-shielding bottles or paper boxes; these are helpful, too.

How to Consume Perilla Oil (Safely!)

If you don't want to just drink a spoonful of oil, here are some recommended ways to eat it:


  • Use on salads as a substitute for olive oil
  • Drizzle over carpaccio or cooked meats
  • Mix into juice
  • Stir in soups
  • Mix into condiments

Remember that heating it will ruin its beneficial effects, so use it just as it is.

Oxidized oil turns into lipid peroxide, which can cause arteriosclerosis and cancer! In addition, overdosing can lead to elevated cholesterol and can cause diarrhea. Store your oil properly, and don't eat more than the recommended amount of a spoonful a day.

Looking For More Health Products? Check Out These Links!

Looking For More Health Products? Check Out These Links!

Summary

This impressive healthy oil can provide you with your daily recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids easily, so there's no excuse not to try one! Remember to look for cold-pressed or raw-pressed, and not to buy too much at once.


Author: Kyoka Koiwa/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Kazuya Ota

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