Perilla Leaf Kimchi, also known as Kkaennip Kimchi, is both easy to make and delicious. Perilla leaves, which are part of the mint family, have a unique flavor that falls somewhere between mint and basil.
In Korea, Perilla leaves are often referred to as wild sesame leaves, despite not being related to the sesame plant. While sesame leaves aren’t typically used in cooking, their seeds are used to produce sesame oil.
The leaves of the perilla plant are edible and can be used in a variety of dishes. They can be eaten raw as wraps for barbecued meats or sashimi, turned into kimchi, or cooked in stews. The seeds of the perilla plant can also be used to make perilla oil.
To make Perilla Leaf Kimchi, start by washing the leaves and setting them aside to drain. While they dry, prepare the kimchi paste. Be sure to adjust the amount of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) to suit your desired level of spiciness.
To assemble the Perilla Leaf Kimchi, layer a few leaves at a time in a container with a lid, spreading some of the kimchi paste over the top. Alternate the direction of the stems with each layer to create an even stack of leaves. Repeat this process until all of the leaves and paste have been used.
Cover the container and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours, or up to overnight. If you notice any leaves that don’t have paste on top, simply add some more. The kimchi can be enjoyed immediately with rice or stored in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.
- 45-55 Perilla leaves
- 1/4 onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 carrot, grated or cut into matchsticks
- 3 cloves of garlic, either minced or grated
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), to taste
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce or Korean anchovy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds
- Begin by washing the perilla leaves in a colander under running water. Shake off any excess water and leave the leaves to drain.
- While the leaves are draining, prepare the kimchi paste by mixing all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
- To assemble the kimchi, layer 3-4 leaves at a time in a container with a lid. Spread a spoonful of the paste over the top of each layer. Repeat this process with the remaining leaves, alternating the direction of the stems with each layer to create an even stack. Spread any remaining paste over the top layer.
- Cover the container with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours, or up to overnight. The kimchi can be enjoyed immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.