Growing up, my parent’s garden always had plenty of perilla leaves that greeted us every summer. There was never a shortage, so we never really had to buy them from the grocery store. I didn’t quite appreciate perilla leaves when I was younger but as I got older, I became more addicted to it? LOL. I would say perilla leaves can fit into the mint family. They have a distinct scent and texture. You do however need to get used to it. Koreans consume perilla leaves raw or cooked. You can use them in salads, soups, banchans, wraps, and sushi! The possibilities are endless!!
Because we live in the East coast, when summer comes to a close, so do the perilla leaves. Guess what though, there is a clever way to still enjoy the perilla leaves all year around!! You can make perilla kimchi!! And yes, you can even freeze them! They actually freeze well and defrost well. They stay fresh and tasty while the texture remains the same. Isn’t that awesome? I am going to show you how to make this yummy kimchi, the way my grandmother taught me many moons ago~~ She was a fantastic cook and this was one of her specialty for sure!!
Perilla Leaf Kimchi, Kkaennip Kimchi
- 100 Korean perilla leaves medium size
- ⅓ cup onion finely diced
- 3 tbsp garlic minced
- ¾ cup scallion finely chopped
- ¼ cup Korean green chili pepper finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Korean red chili peppers or paprika finely chopped
- 3 tbsp gochugaru: red chili pepper flake coarse
- 7 tbsp Korean soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maesil: plum extract
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp mirin: rice wine
- Wash perilla leaves and drain for few hours, making sure all the leaves are fully dry.
- Chop and dice all the vegetables. Combine all the seasonings and vegetables in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.
- Stack 3-4 perilla leaves at a time. The leaves' shiny side up & stems all facing the same direction. Place the leaves on the bottom of a glass topperware. Then add about ½ tbsp of the sauce on top. Press gently in a circular motion to spread the sauce. Do not need to cover the entire face of the leaf. The marinade will soak in over time. Repeat this process to all the leaves, making sure to leave some amount for the top leaf.
- Close the topperware tight. Leave in fridge untouched for 5 days. The perilla kimchi is ready when all the leaves are very dark colored and the sauce has been soaked completely. You can consume the perilla kimchi at this point, or store them in the freezer via ziplock bag.
- Can last in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks. Serve cold!