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This item was last sold on : 04/04/18
Perilla leaves are broad and round to spade like in shape with serrated edges. The leaves have a slightly fuzzy texture and are vivid green on their front side and green to purple on their underside. The leaves are aromatic and herbaceous in flavor with nuances of mint, basil and anise. The strong scent of perilla leaves also serves to protect the plant while it is growing as it is a natural deterrent to bugs.
Perilla leaves are available year-round.
Perilla leaves, also known as kkaennip and sesame leaves are a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family. Aside from having a shared name perilla leaves have no relation to the sesame seeds that are commonly used on breads. The name kkaennip or rather kka nnip in English translates to sesame leaf, as a result many American recipes will refer to the leaf as such. The leaves are used for both their culinary and medicinal properties and the seeds of the herb can be pressed to make an oil that is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, specifically linolenic acid.
Perilla leaves are a nutrient rich green herb high in calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamins A, K and C. In Korea the leaves are commonly eaten with preserved and grilled meats as the leaves are believed to have nutritional properties that are anti-carcinogenic and help clear sodium nitrates from the body. The leaves also contain rosmarinic acid which is being studied for its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties and ability to help reduce the severity of asthmatic attacks and allergic reactions.
Perilla leaves can be used in both raw and cooked applications. Extremely popular in Korean cuisine the leaves are commonly used as a wrap for rice, barbecued meats and vegetables. They are also popularly used in Korea to make a kimchee of sorts by marinating the leaves for an extended period with soy sauce, herbs and spices. Add to salads or slice and incorporate into savory pancakes, breads and stir fries. Try using as a subsistence for basil in caprese salad or pesto sauce. The flavor of perilla leaves pairs well with chili, garlic, soy sauce, grilled meats and soft cheeses.
Perilla leaves have long been used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of health issues such as morning sickness and food related nausea, cough and chest congestion and topically to soothe bug bites. In Chinese they are also known as zisu, zi meaning purple and su meaning comfort.
Perilla leaves are native to the mountainous regions of Asia. The first documented use of them is found in a medicinal formula dating back to the Song Dynasty noted in a book called, Taiping Huimin Hejiju Fang written in 1110 A.D. Growing most abundantly today in Korea, India, China and Japan the leaves can be found growing in some parts of the United States as well. Easy to grow perilla leaves will thrive in a variety of different growing conditions, in some areas they are even considered a weed because of their prolific growing nature.
Recipes that include Perilla Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
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