Summer is fast approaching, and the very thought of it might get you in the mood for ice cream, lemonade, and snacks at the beach. Why not try something new? Perilla leaves are popular all over Asia and in Korea, they are a particular summertime favorite. Let’s learn more about it!
What is Perilla?
Although perilla is often marketed and sold under the name “sesame leaves” that is an inaccurate name for them. It’s a wide umbrella term for a number of different plants that all belong to the mint family. The Japanese favor shiso leaves, which are both smaller and mintier than perilla leaves, which are broad and round.
The flavor is grassy, although you might notice tones of anise or licorice in it. Although you can use them as a garnish, the leaves are big enough for you to get more creative with them, as we will see below.
Ways to Prepare
Stir fry the perilla leaves with some garlic and veggies. You can also pan-fry them after stuffing them with ground meat and dipping them in eggs. You can also use them as you would lettuce wraps if you have any leftovers. You can wrap the leaves around rice, fish, and meat. If you are looking for a different take on Korean food, remix the iconic kimchi by using perilla leaves instead! All you’ve got to do is marinate the leaves in a blend of sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, and Korean chili powder. It’s easy and just as tasty as kimchi is!
A Sample Recipe
Now let’s talk about a sample recipe for you to try at home: marinated perilla leaves. It yields eight leaves when used as an appetizer and only takes twenty minutes or so to prepare. You’ll need to start with 20 leaves and then the following ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons of Korean chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of anchovy stock, dashi, or water
- ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar and ½ of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get started! Wash and dry the leaves first. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and add more stock if you need it. Then get a container with a lid for the second step. Lay the leaf flat on the bottom and then add ¼ teaspoon of the marinade. Spread it evenly and repeat with each leaf until everything has been used up. Put it in the refrigerator for two hours, and it should be ready to eat!
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop-shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.