Learn about the popular Korean leafy vegetable – Korean perilla leaves!
What are Perilla Leaves
The Korean name for perilla leaves is “kkaenip” or “ggaenip” (깻잎).
In Korean cooking, perilla leaves are typically used in a pickled side dish, in stir fry, in soup and as a wrap.
It is part of the mint family and has a strong aroma. It is similar to Japanese shiso, but it is known to have different flavors and shapes.
Perilla leaves are commonly mistranslated as sesame leaves but they are from different plants.
At a Korean grocery store (in Australia), you can get 1 bunch of perilla leaves (about 25 leaves) for AUD $2.50. If you can’t buy them easily, you can grow them from seeds too. It’s quite easy.
I love them because they give a unique smell and taste to a dish and make everything so tasty. 🙂
How to Buy
Fresh perilla leaves are dark green in color and have a stronger scent. Also, the stems should not be dried and should have little fine hairs on the surface of the leaves. Lastly, try to avoid the leaves with red and/or black dots on the leaves as they have been stored with moisture for too long.
How to Store
In general, perilla leaves dry out easily. So to store, wrap the perilla leaves with kitchen paper then place them in a plastic zip lock bag. Refrigerate until needed, however, it is best to consume earlier for an optimal outcome.