Perilla leaves in soy sauce

Kkaennip-jangajji 깻잎장아찌

I heard that there is a huge Korean community in Flushing, so I went there the other day. It took about 40 minutes to ride the subway from Manhattan.

I was so excited about visiting there that my heart started beating before getting there even on the subway. Yes, it was surprising scene! I felt like walking around somewhere in Korea!

I bought some items that I can’t find easily in midtown Manhattan such as a long broom, cheap hangers, and I found them! Then of course I had to stop by the Korean grocery store, Hanareum mart.

I found a good bakery store “Koryudang” to order my favorite snack patbingsu (shaved ice with sweet red bean and fruits). Almost all of customers were Koreans. I used to make it for my children when they were young. When they came home from school in hot summer afternoon, I used to be waiting for them with ready made patbingsu. Once they came home, I gave it to them and they were of course happy. So when I order potbingsu for myself, I can’t help thinking about my children and feel a little strange.

On the way back home to take the subway, I saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk selling so many different kinds of Korean vegetables that she grew in her home: lettuce, green chili pepper, cucumber, minari, small, cute pumpkins (for doen jang jjigae), and perilla leaves! I asked, “How much is it for all the “kkaennip” ? She paused some seconds and seemed busy counting quietly. She said, “20 dollars”. I said, “How about 15 dollars? I will make kimchi with them”. She paused again and “sure!” :) I know I should be generous to the seller. How dare I could ask for discount! But, it’s my life time bargain habit that I learned from my own mother.

When I came home, I made perilla leaves jangajji instead of making kkaennip kimchi because making jangajji is easier than making kimchi.

For those who may be interested in learning how to make this jangajji, I am posting my recipe here with pictures.

Korean perilla in soy sauce (kkaennip-jangajji)

Ingredients: 500 grams of perilla leaves, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and water

1) Wash both sides of kkaennip thoroughly and drain them. Put them in a container or jar.

2) In a large skillet, add 5 cups of water, ¼ cup salt, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of soy sauce, and ½ cup of vinegar and boil it.

3) When the mixture of the liquid boils, pour it carefully, slowly, and evenly into the container where fresh kkaennip is placed.

4) Press it down with a spoon to help the perilla leaves get submerged. Then put something heavy on top to keep them down in the mixture

5) Close the lid of the container and let it sit for about 12 hours. (You can turn over to salt evenly)

6) Next day, when you open the lid, you will see lots of liquid came out from the leaves

7) Drain the salty juice into a pot and boil it for about 20 minutes. (Don’t boil the salted perilla leaves, leave them in the container without much liquid.

8) The amount of salty liquid will get less than before. Cool it down.

9) Switch the salted perilla leaves into a smaller container that fits them, then pour the cooled down salty juice over them.

That’s all!

Eat it with rice as part of your meal. First, get a spoonful of rice…

Then wrap a leaf around it and put it in your mouth!



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