Perilla Leaf Kimchi, the summer Kkatnip Kimchi

Perilla Leaf KimchiIf you like Korean Kimchi and want to expand your taste bud for a new experience, try this Kkatnip Kimchi (깻잎김치). It is made with Perilla leaves.

Perilla Leaf Kimchi is commonly eaten in the summer time everywhere in Korea, OR anywhere Koreans dwell. Nowadays, you can find these precious Perilla leaves in most Korean grocery stores during summer.

I bet Mr. Kim and Mrs. Lee in your neighborhood, or maybe Dr. Choi, your friendly dentist, might have this Kkatnip Kimchi on their dinner table this weekend.

Yup! I had this kimchi and my Beef Nuhbiani last night, and I was in the pure heaven.

Perilla LeavesHere is a beautiful portrait of Kkatnips! They are packed in with Vitamin C and fiber. They are fragrant herbs, somewhat similar to basil. Some love the fragrance and some don’t. But if you love basil, you won’t have problem getting used to the fragrance of these beautiful leaves. You can even make Pesto sauce with them and it is delicious.

Koreans like to pickle these leaves as well, but today, I am going to share with you how to make Kimchi with them. Simply delicious!!!


You need to wash them REALLY well. Just like any leafy vegetables, which are easy for the bugs to munch in, these leaves are heavily pesticide-d.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of baking soda and let them soak in the water for 5 minutes, then rinse in the running water several times. That will give you peace of mind.


I use a salad spinner to dry off the water from the leaves. Set aside.


Boil and simmer some dried anchovies and sea kelp to make a simple stock. Let it cool.


Here are the seasoning team. Fish sauce, Korean soy sauce for soup, corn syrup (optional), sugar, sesame seeds, Korean chili flakes, onion, garlic, red chilies, and carrot.


Slice a carrot and onion into very thin matchsticks (1/8″).


Chop two fresh red chilies into small pieces. Finely mince garlic, too. Set aside.


Combine all the seasoning ingredient in a small mixing bowl.


Add the 1/2 cup of reserved anchovy stock, and mix. The paste will be a little runny.


Spread the seasoning paste on the leaf, sprinkle a few onion and carrot slices on top. Repeat every 2 or 3 leaves (no need to spread on every leaf).


Stack them as a few bunches in a container.


Add 1/4 cup of remaining stock to the leftover seasoning, swirl around, and pour over Kkatnips.


Gently press your leaves with a spoon to get the air out.


Then, you are done. You can eat right away with some rice or wait for one day to enjoy slightly fermented flavor.

After one day of room temperature fermentation, keep them in the fridge. They will last for at least two month, but I believe you will finish off in the next few days.


Kkatnip Kimchi

Wrap around some rice with a leaf, and savor all the summer flavors mingling on your tongue.
I’m sure Mr. Kim and Mrs. Lee, …and even Dr. Choi would put a smile on their face as they savor this healthy Kimchi.

Ramadan is coming to an end here in Malaysia, followed by 2 days of Muslim holiday called Hari Raya. The locals go to Kampong (village) to visit their families and have feasts, some will spend their days in the shopping malls, etc, which means there will be multitude of people everywhere I go… I have a crowd phobia so I better chill-lax in my hut with family, have a few friends over for lunch, watch some movies that I missed in the theater, cook up a new recipe, and the best of all, getting up late in the morning without the worry of my kids missing the school bus.

Do all these sound like a good plan?


Perilla Kimchi

Perilla Leaf Kimchi, the summer Kkatnip Kimchi

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 50 leaves


  • about 50 Perilla leaves
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 2 red chilies
  • 3/4 cup anchovy stock*
  • 3 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon Korean fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Korean corn syrup, optional
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • * anchovy stock: simmer 4-5 dried large anchovies and a piece of dried sea kelp in 1 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes.


  1. Clean Perilla leaves in water thoroughly. Drain well to remove excess water. (Use a salad spinner if you own)
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine chopped fresh chilies, Korean chili flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce for soup, sugar, corn syrup if using, garlic, and sesame seeds. Add 1/2 cup of anchovy stock to the mixture and stir well. The seasoning paste will be runny.
  3. Place a Perilla leaf on the shallow plate (I use a glass pie dish) spread 1 teaspoonful of seasoning paste around on top of leaf. Sprinkle a few slices of onion and carrots on top. Place another 2-3 leaves on top and repeat the layer. You don't need to spread the seasoning on every leaf. Stack them in a air tight container.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of remaining anchovy stock to the seasoning paste, swirl around, and pour over the leaves. Press down gently with a spoon.
  5. Let the Kimchi sit on the room temperature for 1 day and store in the fridge afterwards. Serve with rice as a side dish.


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  1. 1


    I really need to start growing perilla! It sounds like such great stuff. Nice recipe – I particularly like the idea of anchovy stock. I’ve not heard of that before, and it sounds wonderful. Good post – thank you.

    • 2

      Holly says

      Anchovy adds a good flavor to Kimchi without noticing the flavor. Perilla is great plant to grow in the back yard. Hope you get to look for the seeds.

  2. 8


    Hi Holly! I just wanted to say thank you for posting all of these wonderful recipes. I’m Korean-American, but I never really learned to cook Korean food from my parents despite having grown up with it. Now that I’m in Paris and have recently found a Korean grocery store, I’m looking forward to recreating the dishes of my youth with the help of your site.

    • 9

      Holly says

      Thanks Diane. It is good to know that there is Korean grocery stored in Paris. Hope you enjoy all the Korean cooking in Paris.

  3. 11

    Mike Buford says

    I just finished making a batch using your recipe. Thanks! I can certainly understand your comment about perilla and pesticides. I’m growing perilla for the first time (16 beautiful plants) in my garden this year. The leaf-cutters (ants) will cut through the leaves like a bush hog.. Unbelievable!!

  4. 13

    Chocolate Lady says

    I. AM. SWOONING! My local Korean market had an abundance of beautiful, fresh perilla leaves ready and waiting to turn into perilla leaf kimchi today. I just made it, tasted some, and it it is beyond delectable! I don’t think it’s going to last past tonight, since I am now heating up the broiler to cook the royal Korean beef dish you suggested to go along with it, and my family of 6 keeps coming in saying it smells beyond delicious. Oh my ~ tastebuds are having a party tonight! Thank you!!


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