Makes about 6 servings as a side dish
4 bunches Korean sesame
leaves (also known as
perilla; see note)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon finely ground red
Rinse sesame leaves in cold water, then drain.
Combine the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and chili pepper in a small pot and heat over medium flame until liquid just begins to boil. Reduce heat, add sesame leaves, and simmer for three to five minutes, turning often. Remove from heat. Use a strainer and remove leaves from the liquid. Set strainer over the pot so that the liquid drains back into the pot, and let cool.
Gently separate the leaves into small bunches of 5 to 10 leaves. Layer the small bunches in a sealable container, lightly sprinkling sesame seeds and chili pepper over each layer. Each layer should face a different direction. Pour the liquid over the leaves and seal the container.
Let stand at room temperature for six hours, then refrigerate. Serve in small bunches as a side dish with Korean meals.
You can find sesame leaves in Asian markets such as H-Mart.
Per serving (makes 6 servings):