Korean dolma recipe using korean perilla leaves (aka purple mint, japanese basil, shiso leaves or "kkaennip")

My mom has a bountiful garden this summer and I’ve gotten my share of cherry tomatoes, zucchini, shishito and korean peppers, eggplants, and of course, the ever-growing korean perilla leaves.  These leaves are typically steamed then marinated or pickled and can last in the fridge for up to a year.  Seriously! – many of Korean banchan’s all about preserving and we do it well;)  Artfully shaped like cut from a snowflake, almost like a part of maple leaves…the korean perilla leaves are typically found in Asian markets and of course, Korean markets and is similar to the Japanese shiso leaves but stronger in flavor.  Perfect POW of green in color and full of minerals and vitamins, its flavor is a hybrid of mint, basil and cilantro; peppery and pungent with a lingering flavor of sesame seeds (Koreans also use the perilla leaves to extract “wild sesame oil” used to marinate veggies and season roasted seaweed (“gim”)).

So with this secret ingredient, PARILLA LEAVES (can u hear Iron Chef?) – I was inspired by several sources.  First of all, perilla leaves…reminded me of dolma, which I love love - a Turkey/Greek dish of stuffed grape leaves which can be found preserved in jars at upscale grocery stores.  I also remembered the asparagus/beef wrap from one of our fav japanese shabu shabu restaurant, Shabu Hachi .  I also realized that there’s like every country’s version of such a “leaves wrap” in my research including a recipe for bo nuong la lot (I have no idea what that means…) from blogger, Wanderingchopsticks.  Lastly,  I wanted to make it Korean and healthy!  So here’s what I did.

Kalbi marinade (this is so tasty and has come in so handy for many of my tasty creations):

- shoyu

- evap cane juice

- garlic

- sesame oil

- black pepper

Other ingredients:

- (super) thinly sliced zucchini (from my mom’s garden)

- slivered leeks

- shishito peppers (split in 1/2)

- bison NY steak (not a huge red meat eater but we all need some, i think.  And bison’s a great alternative since it’s lower in fat content, cholestrol and usually found free of hormones and all that nasty junk.  Little $$$ but you just need a little bit)

- parilla leaves

How to:

1. Lay two parilla leaves fat-end to fat-end and overlapping.  ”make a sandwich” – center a slice of zucchini at the bottom followed by bison, leeks, shishito pepper.

2. Brush kalbi marinade on top and close all the loose toppings with another slice of zucchini.

bison parilla leaves dolma1

3. Roll, flip and stick a toothpick in the center to hold it all together.  Brush extra kalbi marinade over top of the leaves.

4. Bake in oven for ~6-8 min @375 and voila – you have some awesomely impressive and very savory dish with √ - protein/calcium – √veggie √ - FLAVOR.  The parilla leaves get roasted just right with a little bit of a delicate crisp meets soaky goodness.

bison parilla leaves dolma2

Umami~  Let me know what you think~

About chefkelly

Leveraging a lifelong passion for food and combining a unique cultural mesh of korean cuisine, robust flavors of Texas BBQ and California cuisine, Chef Kelly brings her own signature style to delectable perfect bites exploring complex and often surprising interplay of flavors, textures and colors. She has honed and shared her craft through her experiences from five star restaurant kitchens to private cooking instruction to her self-written food blog at chefkelly.com all made with 2 tablespoons of love; love for food, love for life.
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3 Responses to Korean dolma recipe using korean perilla leaves (aka purple mint, japanese basil, shiso leaves or "kkaennip")

  1. antonis says:

    Hi Kellly,

    this is brilliant! I haven’t actually cooked the recipe, but I… can taste it already.
    I come from one of the lands where dolma is a staple (Greece) but living in LA, between Korean and Japanese markets and restaurants I have become a shiso addict!

    I cook fusion often and this recipe makes total sense (and probably allows for infinite variations).

    Is the sesame oil used here the regular cooking oil or the thick toasted sesame kind? Would the latter be a good thing as a drizzle at the end?…

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  2. chefkelly says:

    hi, antonis.

    so glad you found an inspiration and that you’re excited about the recipe as much as I was when it all came together. Made another version over the weekend wrapping it over a sweet potato mash and then lightly batter frying it with panko. Little decadent but very tasty, ymm~

    Shiso (japanese) and kkaennip (korean – they need to come up with a better name) are both amazingly flavorful and full of potential on how they can make good food great. You’ll have to share some of your dolma recipes (so addicting!)…if you make them from scratch.

    re: sesame oil – it’s the toasted sesame oil. I use a brand from La Tourangelle which can be found at Whole Foods (they also have other flavored oils which are awesome). A word about sesame oil. It’s pretty potent stuff, even more so than truffle oil, i think, so the drizzle will overpower the dish, i think. I made a kalbi marinade and lightly brushed it on top of the bison.

    Also a word on bison as I found out – because it’s much less fatty than beef – it cooks super fast. so you just need to broil it for a few minutes until the leaves start wilting and roasting til perfectly delicate and flakey.

    have fun making your version – and do share recipe/pix!

    happy cooking~

  3. antonis says:

    Thanks for all the extra info Kelly!

    I don’t actually make my own dolma, but I could if I happened across a bunch of grape leaves! My mom and grandmother used to make them so the taste is planted deep in my taste buds.

    One fusion suggestion for the kkaennip is a topping of yogurt.
    The (strained) yogurt can be flavored with fresh perilla cut up and ground in a mortar (like making a pesto).
    I think it will work with the taste of kalbi sauce underneath but maybe not the toasted sesame?
    It would add a cooling touch and some color contrast. Just a thought.

    Anyway, I got shiso growing like weeds out in the yard – I’ll definitely have to play!

    Thanks again –

    Antonis

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