Perilla Leaves Kimchi

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.

Perilla Leaves Kimchi
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.

Perilla Leaves
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.

Let’s start!

Wash perilla leaves under running water and drain well.

Ingredients For Perilla Leaves Kimchi
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
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.

Store Perilla Leaves Kimchi
You can eat it right away and store the rest in plastic container in the fridge. That’s it. So easy right?

Perilla Leaves Kimchi
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.

Perilla Leaves Kimchi
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.

Happy eating!

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  • Reply Nava Krishnan August 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Lovely outcome from using the leaves although I must admit I have never heard of it before, probably because I don’t try any Korean recipes at home. It looks similar like the local daun kaduk although just a bit hairy looking.

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Besides Korea, the usage of this leaves can be found in Japan, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal and some part of India’s cooking. Yup looks a bit like daun kaduk.

  • Reply Maangchi August 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    wow, it looks so yummy with rice!

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Thank you Maangchi. 🙂

  • Reply smallkucing August 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Is that Daun Sireh?

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 5, 2011 at 9:53 am

      Nope. They look quite similar ya.

  • Reply purabi naha August 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This looks great! Have to find perilla leaves now!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      Happy trying 🙂
      Hope you’re able to find the leaves.

  • Reply Pierre August 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Now you’ve convinced me that you REALLY like Korean food. Perilla is kinda hard to love for a layman. Good recipe too!

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      Oh yeah I LOVE Korean food. 🙂
      Yup Perilla is like durian!

  • Reply foongpc November 1, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Oh! Suddenly bump into post while searching about perilla leaves!! LOL! I think I have this leaves in my garden – but not 100% sure – it has helped cured my stubborn cough once : )

    • Reply Che-Cheh November 4, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Perilla can cure cough eh? Good!

  • Reply foongpc November 1, 2012 at 12:57 am

    You are right, can’t stand the taste at first. I ate it raw straight from the garden. But when you cough non stop and can’t sleep at night, the taste is really nothing! Haha.

    • Reply Che-Cheh November 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Do you know what they call it in Chinese? I’ve been looking for this plant so I can grow ’em.

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