Kkaennip Jjim (Steamed Perilla Leaves)

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Jul 14, 2017 - 17:12
  • Updated : Jul 14, 2017 - 17:12
This steamed perilla leaf side dish (kkaennip jjim) is enjoyed in the summer when fresh perilla leaves are plentiful. The fragrant perilla leaves are lightly seasoned with a simple mixture of seasonings. Briefly steaming mellows the taste of this strong flavored vegetable while keeping the freshness of the leaves. If you find fresh perilla leaves a bit too strong, try this steamed version.

Once you clean the leaves, it only takes a few minutes to put the sauce together and steam the leaves either over the stovetop or in the microwave. I made it quite spicy here, but you can always reduce the amount of gochugaru or omit it entirely to make the dish mild. 

Pick up a leaf with chopsticks and wrap a bit of warm rice in it and enjoy. It will surely perk up your appetite!


30 perilla leaves (kkaennip)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons gochugaru

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic

2 tablespoons chopped scallion

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons water

Wash the leaves thoroughly (especially the back sides) under running water, one leaf at a time. Hold the stems together, and shake off the excess water.

Place them in a colander to further drain.

Mix all the seasoning ingredients well in a small bowl.

In a heat proof or microwave safe bowl, place 3 or 4 leaves at a time, and spread a teaspoon of the sauce all over the top leaf. Repeat the process with the remaining leaves. Rotate the location of the stem part of each batch to level the stack.

Pour any remaining sauce around the leaves when all the leaves are used up.

To steam, boil about 3-centimeter high water in a large enough pot to loosely fit the bowl with the perilla, and then carefully place the bowl in the pot. Cover, and steam for 2 to 3 minutes. Adding a folded paper towel at the bottom will prevent the bowl from rattling in the boiling water. Another option is to wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes.

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By Ro Hyo-sun