Perilla leaves (kkaenip 깻잎) is the leaves from the herb plant-mint family perilla (shiso, deulkkae 들깨) with distinct serrated edges. Beautiful leaves I must say. I’ve seen the used of perilla leaves or shiso leaves in Japanese cuisine but never before in Korean food until recently (thanks to my visit to Korean marts, Maangchi and 2 Days 1 Night). Funny I have no recollection of seeing perilla leaves in Korean cuisine although I’ve visited South Korea some 8 years ago. Perhaps my main objectives at that time were totally about scenery and not much about food (hehe). Please note though perilla has nothing to do with sesame plant although the literal translation of deulkkae and kkaneip are pointing to that direction.
Lovely perilla leaves kimchi!
Since I like the look of perilla leaves and was curious at how the leaves would taste like, I decided to make perilla leaves kimchi (kkaenip kimchi 깻잎 김치). I followed the recipe from Maangchi (which owns a superb Korea food blog with videos showing her preparation and cooking methods). Do follow her blog ya. According to her, perilla leaves kimchi is a side dish (banchan) in Korean cuisine.
I bought my perilla leaves at Pasaraya Seoul Mart (Desa Sri Hartamas, KL). They have fresh and abundance stock always. 1 pack cost around RM3-RM5 with about 20-40 leaves. Other places which sell perilla leaves are at Japanese supermarket (Jusco-maybe, try Isetan or Sogo) or Jaya Grocer.
Wash perilla leaves under running water and drain well.
Prepare the ingredients as shown; clockwise from top right: onions, garlic, carrots, spring onions.
Place them in a bowl.
Now add fish sauce, hot pepper flakes and honey into the bowl.
Mix well. Next, get your gloves ready! Yup, you need a pair of rubber/plastic gloves in the next step. Hot pepper flakes will stain and burn your hands.
Place perilla leaves on a plate. Now spread the kimchi paste between every 2 leaves.
Finally add some roasted sesame seeds between the leaves.
You can eat it right away and store the rest in plastic container in the fridge. That’s it. So easy right?
Too pretty to eat!
How’s the taste? It’s pretty awesome. It has this lil’ minty-cilantro-y-fennel-ish-burst of taste. At times I feel like I’m eating fresh grass! Haha A word of caution though, you might not like it at first bite. My mom ‘yuck-ed’ very loudly for her very first perilla leaves bite but as I’m typing this, she’s the biggest fan of this dish in our family.
My version is less spicy and sweeter.
How to eat perilla leaves kimchi:
Place leaf on rice, sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds, wrap rice with perilla leaf using chopsticks. Enjoy!
Tsk: I made kimchi last Sunday. Will share if everything goes well. Pray!
Perilla Leaves Kimchi
Adapted from Maangchi.com
135g (~3 cups) perilla leaves (I used 75g – 43 leaves)
1/4 cup onions, sliced
2 tablespoons carrots, chopped into matchsticks shape
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used 2 1/2 tbs as I ran out of fish sauce LOL)
1 teaspoon honey (I used 1 1/2 teaspoon)
1-2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes (I used 1 tablespoon)
roasted sesame seeds
1 pair rubber/plastic gloves (optional)
1. Wash both sides of perilla leaf in running water and shake to drain.
2. Add these ingredients (onions, carrots, garlic, spring oinons, fish sauce, honey and hot pepper flakes) into a bowl and mix well with a spoon to make the paste.
3. Spread some paste between every 2 leaves. Wear a pair of gloves when doing this to avoid ‘burning’ and staining hands due to hot pepper flakes.
4. Add some roasted sesame seeds between the leaves.
5. Store perilla kimchi in a container and keep it in the fridge. You can eat it right away too.
6. To serve: Sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on it and serve with rice.