Kkaennip Jjim (Steamed Perilla Leaves)

Kkaennip Jjim (Steamed Perilla Leaves)

This steamed perilla leaf side dish (kkaennip jjim, 깻잎찜) is a summer favorite! While pickled kkaennip is a staple side dish all year around, this dish is enjoyed in the summer when fresh perilla leaves are plentiful. It’s one of those dishes that brings back memories of my childhood summertime meals that were made with lots of fresh vegetables.

The fragrant perilla leaves are lightly seasoned with a simple mixture of seasonings. Briefly steaming mellows the taste of this strong flavored vegetable while keeping the freshness of the leaves. If you find fresh perilla leaves a bit too strong, try this steamed version.

Once you clean the leaves, it only takes a few minutes to put the sauce together and steam the leaves either over the stovetop or in the microwave. I made it quite spicy here, but you can always reduce the amount of gochugaru or omit it entirely to make the dish mild.

Pick up a leaf with chopsticks and wrap a bit of warm rice in it and enjoy. It will surely perk up your appetite!

For other uses of summer’s abundant perilla leaves, see kkaennip kimchi, ssam (wraps) for meat or fish, bibim guksu, kkaennip jeon, gamjatang, gimbap (rice rolls), and pork rolls.

Kkaennip Jjim (Steamed Perilla Leaves)

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