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Perilla Leaf Kimchi, Kkaetnip Kimchi

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gluten free
prep time: 
30 min
inactive time: 
15 min
cooking time: 
30 min
total time: 
85 min

Kkaetnip Kimchi is delicious spicy pickled perilla leaves enjoyed as a side dish with a bowl of rice along with other banchan (Korean side dishes). It’s a great complement to meat or fish dish because its pleasant yet strong flavor and aroma can mask gamey or fishy smell and taste. Also, Koreans often eat Kkatnip Kimchi to regain lost appetite because of its unique and delightful flavor and aroma. Freshly made rice wrapped with a leaf of kkaetnip kimchi is so heavenly that the rice will disappear in no time. Perilla leaves are full of great nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamins A, K and C. It is believed that perilla leaves are great for skin and have anti-carcinogeic and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Change to: Metric US
1 ozPerilla Leaf, Kaet-nip 깻잎

flour mix

1 tbsFlour 밀가루 (or sweet rice flour for gluten free option)
½ cupWater 물


¼ cupGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루
1 tbsAnchovy Fish Sauce 멸치액젓
1 tbsShrimp Fish Sauce (Sae Woo Jeot) 새우젓 (optional, if omitted use more anchovy sauce)
Green Onion 파
1 tbsSugar 설탕 (use fruit juice if avoiding sugar)
2 tspGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
⅔ tspGinger (minced) 다진 생강
2 tspSesame Seeds 깨 (optional)
Red Chili Pepper 붉은 고추 (optional)
Green Chili Pepper 풋고추 (optional)

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
flour: can use sweet rice flour instead for the gluten free option.
fish sauce: A mix of anchovy fish sauce and shrimp fish sauce gives a good balanced taste but you can use only one type. If you are using one type only, increase the amount to compensate the lack of the other type.
red & green chili peppers: Although they are a great addition for the flavor and presentation, you can use either kind or omit them all together.
sesame seeds: can be omitted.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Wash

Wash perilla leaves under running water thoroughly twice.

image: KCKNAA01.JPG

Wash thoroughly

  • 35 perilla leaves
  • twice

2. Blanch

In a pot, bring water to boil. Blanch the perilla leaves for 1 minute or until they die down. This step is optional. Blanching makes the leaves softer but some people use the leaves as they are.

image: KCKNAA02.JPG

Boil water


  • perilla leaves
  • image: clock.png 1 minor until die down

3. Rinse & drain

Wash in cold water and squeeze water out by hand. Put them aside. It’s ok if the leaves are folded but make sure you don’t tear any leaves.

image: KCKNAA03.JPG


  • cold water
  • squeeze water out

Do not tear leaves

Put aside

4. Prepare vegetables

Mince garlic and ginger yielding 2 teaspoons and ½ teaspoon each. Chop 1 green onion very finely. Slice 1-2 red chili peppers and 1-2 green chili peppers very thinly.

image: KCKNAA04.JPG


  • garlic (2tsp) and ginger ( ½ tsp)


  • 1 green onion


  • 2 red chili peppers
  • 2 green chili peppers

5. Make flour mix

In a small pot, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with ½ cup of COLD water. Bring it to boil on medium heat while stirring. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and stir until it thickens. Take the flour mix off the heat and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

image: KCKNAA05.JPG


  • 1 tbs flour
  • ½ cup COLD water

Bring to boil

  • Med Heat image: medheat.png
  • while stirring

When boiling reduce heat

  • Low Heat image: lowheat.png
  • stir until thinkens
  • turn off heat

Cool down

  • image: clock.png 15 min

6. Mix Seasoning Ingredients

Mix the flour mix with chopped green onion, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of minced ginger, sliced red and green chili peppers (optional), ¼ cup of gochugaru (red chilli flakes), 1 tablespoon of anchovy fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of shrimp fish sauce (optional), 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (optional).

image: KCKNAA06.JPG


  • flour mix
  • chopped green onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp minced ginger
  • sliced red and green chili peppers (optional)
  • ¼ cup red chili flakes
  • 1 tbs anchovy fish sauce
  • 1 tbs shrimp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds (optional)

7. Unfold leaves

Unfold 2 leaves and place it on a plate. (If you are not blanching the leaves and using fresh ones, skip this step.

image: KCKNAA07.JPG


  • 2 leaves
  • on plate

8. Apply Seasoning I

Apply seasoning on top with a spoon. You only need seasoning for every two leaves.

image: KCKNAA08.JPG

Apply seasoning on top

9. Apply Seasoning II

Unfold two more leaves and put them on top of the other two. Apply seasoning again only on top. Repeat this step until all the leaves are seasoned.

image: KCKNAA09.JPG


  • 2 more leaves

Place on top of the first 2

Apply seasoning on top

Repeat until all leaves seasoned

10. Store

Place them in a container. Leave them out for a day for fermentation. Then, store in the fridge.

image: KCKNAA10.JPG

Place in container

Leave out 1 day for fermentation

Store in fridge

11. Serve

Serve on a side dish plate. Enjoy with a bowl of rice!

image: KCKNAA11.JPG