Steamed Perilla Leaf

All recipe posts are written by our co-founder Jennifer J. Yoo unless otherwise noted. 

Steaming vegetables with seasonings is a popular method in cooking banchan (side dish) in Korean households.  It’s surprisingly easy to do and pairs well with any grilled protein you may have on your table.  Perilla leaf was used for this, but feel free to use other vegetables.  But I do recommend finding a vegetable that does not have too much water, as the cooking process will cause the vegetable to release most of its water, diluting the sauce.  Leftover seasoning diluted slightly with your favorite vinegar, or as-is, also makes a great dipping sauce for pan fried dumplings or mixed in to rice bibimbap style!

TIME   30 minutes

SERVES Will last several meals as side dish. 


  • Perilla leaves, about 80 pieces or couple bundles 
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock (dashi or vegetable also works) 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper powder such as gochugaru


  1. Wash the perilla leaves, set aside to dry.
  2. Add all of the listed ingredients, with the exception of the perilla leaves, and mix gently. Using warm, but not boiling hot, stock will help the salt and sugar dissolve quickly.
  3. Get a steamer ready, set aside. Take out a smaller sized bowl that will fit into the steamer.*
  4. In the smaller sized bowl, put couple spoons of the sauce, then loosely stack about 5 leaves. Repeat the process until leaves are fully stacked. Don’t worry if the leaves are stacking higher than the bowl, it will shrink as it steams. Make sure you top it with some of the sauce. Any excess sauce can be saved for future use or as a dipping sauce. 
  5. Steam for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool until it’s about room temperature and serve! It is also good as a left over so don’t feel shy putting the rest into the fridge.

*If you do not have a steamer, you can use stock pot (something with a lid), fill it with couple inches of water. The bowl you use should not sit directly inside the pot - you can use a plate or create a small donut sized shape using aluminum foil. 

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