Marinated Perilla Leaves

Made with large, aromatic herb leaves, this style of Korean pickle gives kimchi a run for its money.

A plate of marinated perilla leaves

Serious Eats / Chichi Wang

Why This Recipe Works

  • Evenly layering the marinade with the perilla leaves ensures they are equally seasoned.
  • Thin perilla leaves only require two hours to fully marinate, making this style of pickle much more convenient than time-intensive Napa cabbage kimchi.

The flavor of perilla leaves, grassy with notes of anise and licorice, is cooling and refreshing. The leaves are tough enough to hold up to a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, and lots of Korean chili powder. The result is a mildly pickled, spicy side dish that takes very little effort and is as compelling as kimchi.

Several green, jagged-edged perilla leaves are stacked on a work surface.

Serious Eats / Chichi Wang

July 2011

Recipe Details

Marinated Perilla Leaves

Active 20 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 8 servings

Made with large, aromatic herb leaves, this style of Korean pickle gives kimchi a run for its money.


  • 20 Korean perilla leaves

For the Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons coarse ground gochugaru (Korean chile powder)

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon anchovy stock, dashi, or water

  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic


  1. Wash and dry the perilla leaves. To make the marinade, mix everything together in a small bowl, adding more stock as needed so that the paste has a smooth consistency.

  2. In a container with a lid, lay a perilla leaf flat on the bottom and add a small spoonful of the marinade, about 1/4 teaspoon, spreading it evenly on the leaf. Layer another perilla leaf on top and repeat until the leaves and marinade are used up.

  3. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 weeks. Eat with rice and other side dishes.

Special Equipment

Lidded container

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
4 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 21mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)