If you like Korean Kimchi and want to expand your taste bud for a new experience, try this Perilla Leaf Kimchi (Kkatnip kimchi, 깻잎김치). Perilla leaves are coming from made with Perilla plant.
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.
Here is a beautiful portrait of Kkatnips! They are packed in with Vitamin C and fiber. They are fragrant herbs, somewhat similar to mint and 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.
Commonly Asked Questions About Perilla Leaves in Korean Cuisine
Perilla leaves are often called as wild sesame leaves in Korea. In Korean cuisines, sesame leaves are not used for cooking. Only the fruit of sesame plants, which we know as sesame seeds, are used. On the other hand, perilla leaves also produce similar fruits (seeds) from the plant. Both perilla seeds and leaves are used in Korean cooking.
Perilla leaves are herb and belong to the mint family. Therefore, it does have a unique but subtle scent in the leaves. The scent is cross between mint and basil.
Unless the perilla leaves are the main ingredient in the dish, such as perilla kimchi or perilla side dishes, you can omit them. In most cases, perilla leaves are added to lettuce wraps to go with Korean BBQ.
More Perilla Leaf (Kkatnip) Recipes
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!!!
How To Make Perilla Leaf Kimchi
Duration 45 minutes.
- Clean perilla leaves throughly
Perilla leaves need to be cleaned thoroughly. 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.
- Use a salad spinner to get rid of moisture
Salad spinner is a quick way to get rid of moisture from the perilla leaves; set aside.
- Prepare anchovy stock
Simmer dried anchovies with sea kelp in water for 5 minutes. Let it cool.
- Kimchi seasoning Ingredients
These are what you need to make the seasoning for perilla kimchi.
Anchocy saucem Korean soup soy sauce, Korean corn syrup (optional), sugar, sesame seeds, Korean chili flakes, onion, garlic, fresh red chili, carrot.
- Julienne vegetables. Finely chop chili and garlic
Julienne carrot and onion, and mince garlic and chilies finely.
- Make kimchi seasonin paste.
Mix together sauces, chili flakes, sugarm corn syrup (if using), garlic, chilies, and sesame seeds. Add the 1/2 cup of reserved anchovy stock, and mix. The paste will be a little runny.
- Assemble perilla kimchi
Stack 2-3 perilla leaves on top of each other, spread a spoonful of kimchi seasoning on a top perilla leaf. (No need to spread on every leaf)
- Repeat the layer
Add a few slices of carrot and onion on top of seasoning and repeat the process.
- Transfer into a kimchi container
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.
- Press down with a spoon
Gently press your leaves with a spoon to get the air out.
How To Store Perilla Kimchi
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.
Wrap around some rice with a leaf, and savor all the summer flavors mingling on your tongue. Enjoy!
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Perilla Leaf Kimchi (Kkatnip Kimchi)
- 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 (gochugaru)
- 2 tablespoon Korean fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang)
- 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.
- Clean Perilla leaves in water thoroughly. Drain well to remove excess water. (Use a salad spinner if you own)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the Kimchi sit on the room temperature for 1 day and store in the fridge afterwards. Serve with rice as a side dish.