They can be eaten raw in salad or wrap, or made into kimchi to enjoy as a fermented food. Some love to pickle them or quickly steam them to enjoy as a side dish.
I have showed you how to make Perilla Kimchi with these gorgeous leaves. The fragrance of the leaves matched with pungent flavor of kimchi is something that anyone who enjoys Korean food will love to indulge with a bowl of hot rice.
Perilla Leaves are abundant during the summer time, and they are very inexpensive. You will be able to find these fragrant leaves in most Korean grocery stores. So grab a few bunches and make delicious quick steamed Perilla leaves (깻잎찜, kkatnip jjim) to top your rice. This is an old fashioned style side dish recipe that many Koreans love.
Spread a teaspoonful of seasoning on top. You don’t need to try to spread it entirely. Just smear onto the area quickly. Repeat this spreading on every 2-3 leaves. No need to spread on every single leaf, though. Otherwise it will take forever.
When finished spreading the seasoning onto leaves, add 1/3 cup of water and drizzle over the leaves.
Serve these leaves with some rice. And you will taste the rustic flavor of Korean side dishes at its best. I can finish a bowl of rice in a split second with these leaves. That’s why we call dishes like this “a rice stealer (밥도둑, bop dodook)”.
Quick Steamed Perilla Leaves (깻잎찜)
- 3 bunches about 50-60 Perilla leaves, cleaned
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon anchovy sauce or Korean soy sauce for soup
- 1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup water
- 4-6 dried small anchovies deveined (optional)
- In a small mixing bowl, mix garlic, say sauce, anchovy sauce (or Korean soy sauce for soup), chili flakes, sugar and 1 tablespoon water.
- In a microwave safe pan or bowl, place 1 layer of perilla leaves. Spread 1 teaspoonful of the seasoning mixture on each leaf. Layer 2-3 more leaves on top and repeat. You don't need to spread the seasoning on every leaf. Add some dried anchovies in the middle of layers if you wish to add more flavor.
- When spreading is over, add 1/4 cup of water to the mixing bowl, wash out the remaining seasoning and pour it over the leaves.
- Cover the pan with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook in the microwave for 60-90 seconds on high.
- Remove the wrap and serve hot or at room temperature with rice. Store the remaining leaves in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last for 2 weeks in the fridge.