How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe

How to Make Mom’s Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe (깻잎장아찌)

While my family was in town in March, we took the opportunity to learn a few new banchan recipes. Since the Korean food scene is lacking in Las Vegas, I’ve resorted to making my own. This Korean Perilla leaves recipe was one of my favorites growing up, and it’s so simple to make, I’m not sure why I didn’t learn how to make it sooner.

How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe

I’ve been seeing Korean food everywhere lately, whether it’s fusion food or traditional food.

What chefs want to eat – and increasingly everybody – is Korean food.” – Anthony Bourdain. Watch this video where Bourdain cooks Korean food for Anderson Cooper and explains why America’s Top Chefs are obsessed with it.

I’m no top chef, but I’m obsessed. I’m happy to see that Korean cuisine is on more people’s radar.

Mom’s Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe (깻잎장아찌)

How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe


  • 2 Tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes

  • 1 Tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

  • 2.5 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2.5 Tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • 60 Perilla Leaves (each bundle from our store had about 10)

  • 2 Tablespoon scallions (optional)

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic


  • In a small mixing bowl, mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and Korean red pepper flakes to make the marinade.How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Marinade
  • Use 1/4 tsp of the marinade and use a spoon to spread over each leaf.Perilla Leaves Korean Recipe
  • Stack the next leaf and continue until they are covered with marinade.How to Make Mom's Authentic Korean Perilla Leaves Recipe

Mom’s Notes

  1. You can replace fish sauce with more soy sauce in the same quantity.
  2. You can skip a few leaves at a time when spreading the marinade (the lazy method), but it tastes better when you do them all.
  3. Can keep refrigerated for 2-3 months in an airtight container. Cover the leaves in the marinade or they will dry up.
  4. Most Koreans like to add 1/4 tsp of Sogogi Dashida, which has MSG. I personally think if it tastes better, I’m using it, but we gave you some alternative options in case you’re against it. My mom is actually a health nut and doesn’t like to eat much sugar or processed foods. Maybe because Korean cooking uses it so often, she doesn’t mind a pinch here and there.
  5. Some call this perilla leaf kimchi, but Koreans don’t call this a type of kimchi. It’s a type of Jangajji, which is another form of pickling in a sauce for an extended period of time.
  6. My mom grows her own perilla leaves in her backyard. Since we don’t have a backyard, and I have two black thumbs, we haven’t attempted to grow them, but they supposedly grow like weeds.

It seems as though our helpers have fallen asleep…

How to Store Perilla Leaves

Since perilla leaves dry easily, it’s important to store them in the fridge in a ziplock bag (or we use these reusable ziplock bags). Sometimes I leave a damp paper towel in there too.

Perilla Leaves vs Sesame Leaves

Perilla leaves belong to the mint family. People often confuse perilla leaves as sesame leaves or use the terms interchangeably even though sesame plants don’t produce edible leaves. You can see a photo comparison here.

What did you think about this Korean Perilla leaves recipe? What is your favorite dish? Is there any dish you’d like my mom to teach you?

If you want to try another easy recipe, my mom’s Korean cucumber side dish recipe is super simple to whip up.

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