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):
- evap cane juice
- sesame oil
- black pepper
- (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
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.
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.
Umami~ Let me know what you think~