Samsaek Namul comes from the tradition of Koreans paying respect to their ancestors by preparing an offering of a table full of food and the descendants bowing in front of the table. One of the rules of the tradition is to have a plate of three colored vegetables, white, brown, and green. This recipe is for the green part.
Prepare a pot of boiling water with salt added and an ice bath. Blanch perilla by putting perilla leaves in boiling water for 10-30 seconds depending on how tender they are. Do not overcook.
Grab a handful of blanched perilla and form a ball in your hand. Squeeze out any excess water.
Note about Perilla Oil or Deul gireum(들기름): Korean Deul gireum/Deul gi reum is oil made from pressing the perilla seeds. It has a stronger nuttier taste than sesame seeds and has a minty, anise flavor that some people find too strong. Even among Koreans, you either love it or your don’t. I love it, my husband doesn’t. But if you can get it, by all means try it. It also has great health benefits – very high in Omega 3 and also contains Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.