Perilla oil is a Korean oil that is extracted from the seeds of the perilla plant. It is also known as perilla seed oil and is commonly used for cooking Korean dishes. Here you will find out what other benefits it has, how to store it, where to get it and how it differs from sesame oil.
What is Perilla Oil
Perilla oil (deulgireum, 들기름) is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of a plant called perilla. This plant belongs to the mint family and has a unique taste, although it does not taste like the mint that you might be used to. Rather, it is earthy and nutty.
Perilla plants have been cultivated in China for centuries, but they are also widely grown in Korea and India.
Also, there are two types of perilla oil. The first one being un-toasted and the other one being the toasted variety, just like sesame oil. In Korea though, it is the norm to use toasted perilla oil, just like toasted sesame oil in cooking. Toasted oil will naturally have a darker hue and nuttier and richer taste than un-toasted oil.
Perilla oil is often used in Korean sautéed vegetable dishes and some soup dishes. Also, it can be used in roasted dried seaweed.
Perilla Oil Benefits
Perilla oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been said to play an important role in brain development. It also contains high levels of antioxidants and vitamin E, which can help you maintain a healthy skin complexion. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of perilla oil, read from here.
How To Store
Perilla oil goes rancid easily over time, so it is better to buy a small bottle and use it quick.
It is recommended to store the oil in a cool, shady area and use it within one month of opening. If you refrigerate it, it can last even longer.
Perilla Oil vs Sesame Oil
Perilla oil is extracted from the seeds of the perilla plant and sesame oil is extracted from the seeds of the sesame plant. Perilla oil is called ‘deulgireum’ (들기름) and sesame oil is known as ‘chamgireum’ (참기름).
While they both are nutty and rich in aroma, they taste quite different.
That being said, if you can’t find perilla oil, try replacing it with sesame oil. While the flavor is different, it has more similarity than other types of oil.
Where to Buy
You can buy perilla oil from Korean and large Asian grocers. A small bottle as seen above costs around US $7. Amazon sometimes sells it too, but Korean grocery items tend to sell out quickly nowadays.
If you want to find out about other Korean pantry staples, read from here – Korean Ingredients
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