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[K-Food recipe] Steamed Perilla Leaves

by M

You most probably have heard about the ‘Perilla Leaf Debate’. This time, however, we are not discussing whether you are OK with your significant other helping your friend separate the perilla leaves with their chopsticks or it is an absolute NO-NO for you. Instead, we are giving you the recipe of steamed perilla leaves!


Korean cuisine is famous for its vast variety of side dishes – banchan. Steamed perilla leaves (kkaenip in Korean) is a popular summer banchan but it can be consumed any time. The fragrant perilla leaves have a very unique minty flavour so it might be a little bit off-putting for some, while an absolute favourite for others.

The measurements are only recommendations, so feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking and spice tolerance.

Image credit: M


- 1 pack perilla leaves

- 2 tbsp soy sauce

- 1 tbsp rice wine

- 1/2 tbsp gochugaru, Korean chilli powder, or any chilli powder

- 1 tsp honey

- 1 tsp minced garlic

- 1 tsp finely chopped or minced onion

- 1/2 tbsp sesame seed oil

- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

- 1 cup water


  1. Wash and drain the perilla leaves, then layer them into a sieve and let them dry up.

  2. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl.

  3. In a small saucepan, place 1 tbsp of the mixture and place 3 perilla leaves on top of it. Scoop 2 tsp of the mixture on top of the leaves and place 3 leaves over them again. Repeat this until all the perilla leaves are in the saucepan. Hint: for a better aesthetic arrangement, turn the leaves 90 degrees each time you stack them.

  4. Pour the remaining sauce around the leaves.

  5. Cover the saucepan and steam the leaves on medium heat for 2 minutes. If your stack is a bit high, turn them after a minute so that both sides can immerse in the liquid.

  6. Don’t overcook them, the leaves should stay relatively green. If you cook them for too long, they will turn brown.



Share your opinion and/or suggestions with us if you try this recipe.

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