Blot excess moisture from
the moist, salt-cured aka-jiso leaves
with several layers of paper towels. The magenta color is a natural but intense
dye. Be careful with clothing, fingertips, and cutting boards. If you have a
dehydrator use it, according to the instructions that came with the machine, to
dry to the leaves. When dry, crush the leaves to a fine powder.
If you do not have a
dehydrator, you can achieve similar results with a microwave oven. Spread the
moist leaves on a flat glass plate, or other non-reactive surface, that is
microwave safe. Cook at high heat (500-600 watts) for 2 minutes. Flip the
leaves over and repeat for 1 minute. Continue to zap in the microwave at 20 to
30 second intervals, flipping the leaves over each time to ensure even exposure
of all surfaces. When the leaves are thoroughly dry, crush them. Sift the
crushed mass through a strainer to eliminate unwieldy stem and other pieces.