Perilla Kkaetnip Namul

Three Color Vegetables (Samsaek Namul) – Green

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. 
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Korean
Keyword dried vegetables, gluten free, no sugar
KoreanCategory Namul (나물)
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 2
Calories 28kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 4 oz fresh perilla leaves or top part of plant (2 bunches)
  • 1 tsp Guk kanjang/Gook Kanjang (korean soy sauce for soups)
  • 1 tsp perilla seed oil (deul gireum or sesame oil)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 onion (thinly sliced, optional)
  • Sesame seeds or perilla seeds


  • Wash and clean perilla leaves. If you have the whole top part of the plant, take off leaves and tender part of the plant. Discard any thick stems that do not break easily.
  • 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.
  • Once perilla leaves are blanched, quickly remove from boiling water and plunge them into an ice bath to stop cooking.
  • Grab a handful of blanched perilla and form a ball in your hand. Squeeze out any excess water.
  • Season perilla leaves by adding perilla oil/sesame oil, guk kanjang and garlic. Massage with your hands to make sure leaves are seasoned well.
  • Saute seasoned perilla in a non-stick frying pan over medium low heat for 1 – 2 min until they are gently cooked. If they look too dry, add 1 Tbs of water and cook some more until most of the liquid has evaporated. I added some thinly sliced onions for extra flavor here but that’s totally optional.
  • Sprinkle sesame seed or perilla seeds and that’s all you need to do!
  • Enjoy Kkaetnip Namul (Sauteed Perilla Leaves) as a side dish to any meal or make Traditional Bibimbap by adding some other wonderfully healthy and delicious Korean namuls such as Kongnamul, Radish Namul, Gosari Namul, Shikeumchi (Spinach) Namul, Doraji Namul and more.


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.


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 20mg | Vitamin C: 1mg