We finally got some quality perilla leaves (kkaetnip) to make the kkaetnip jangajji (pickled perilla leaves) that we have been waiting for. Our local Korean grocers carry them but sadly they’re of terrible quality (unless you like wilted leaves) and expensive. So we drove to Chicago for a little getaway and it included a stop to the Korean market. Call it a good omen or whatnot, the workers were stacking new perilla leaves just while we were seeking them out. We were quite happy getting fresh, vibrant green perilla leaves at only $2 per package (and 50 leaves in one package!). As for making this healthy side dish, it is pretty easy but a little time-consuming since you have to individually coat the sauce. But once that’s finished, you can thoroughly enjoy with plain rice (Koreans love to wrap it with rice) or as an extra side dish.
Just some general information: jangajchi is when you pickle vegetables in a jang or sauce. There are 3 “jangs” in Korea cooking, this includes ganjang (soy sauce), gochujang (red pepper paste), and dwenjang (soy bean paste). Most Korean foods will most likely incorporate one of these jangs, which is why it’s important to have these readily available for Korean cooking.
Servings: 6~8 people Prep time: 30 minutes Fermenting time: 24~48 hours
- 50 perilla leaves (aka kkaetnip)
- 1 cup soy sauce or light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 small onion, thinly chopped
- 1, 2 green onions, thinly chopped
- 1/4 cup Korean chives, finely chopped (optional)
- Wash each perilla leaf individually through running water and shake off excess water. Place in a colander until dried; set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients together with the finely chopped onion, green onion, and minced garlic. In a tupperware or plastic container, place a spoonful of the sauce on the bottom. Add one perilla leaf then put another spoonful of the sauce to coat the leaf. Continue alternating the layers with a perilla leaf and the sauce until stacks are formed side by side.
- Continue lathering the leaves one at a time until each one is covered with the sauce. If you run out of sauce, it will collect at the bottom of the tupperware. Reuse any runoff sauce to complete the process
- Store in the refrigerator for at least a few days. When ready, serve as a side dish (banchan) with the main dish.
*This particular side dish (along with regular gim, seaweed) is perfect with a bowl of rice. Many Koreans (with chopsticks in hand) simply wrap a single leaf around some rice and indulge in its deliciousness. The salty and sour perilla leaves with the sticky rice really go great together.