Kaenip kimchi is one of my favorite summertime side dishes since we always had kaenip in our garden while I was growing up. Kaenip has a strong and fresh aroma, grows like a weed, and thrives for months, so the scent always brings me back to childhood summers.
Kkaenip (kkaennip) translates from the Korean as “sesame leaf” but it’s actually a misnomer because it is not related to the sesame plant. Kaenip kimchi is easy, ready to eat in a few hours, and perks up any Korean meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Pickling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
- 3-4 bunches of kaenip (Korean perilla leaves) or about 60 leaves if you are growing them at home
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp kochukaru (Korean crushed red pepper)
- 2 Tbsp onion, pureed or minced
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- Wash and dry each kaenip leaf thoroughly, shaking each to remove excess water.
- While your kaenip is drying, mix all other ingredients together to make sauce.
- In a container (that you can seal later with a top), lay one kaenip leaf down and spread a small amount of the sauce on the leaf with the back of a spoon.
- Continue with the rest of the kaenip leaves and the sauce, laying the leaves down neatly so that the stems are in the same place.
- If you have any sauce leftover, pour onto your finished stack. If you run out of sauce, tip the kaenip container and use the sauce at the bottom of your already seasoned leaves.
- Cover container and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Move kaenip to refrigerator and enjoy after only 2-3 hours.
- Serve with rice.
- To Eat: Using chopsticks, pick up a piece of kaenip by the stem, place on top of your rice, and wrap rice with the kaenip leaf.