Pickled Shiso

A few years ago I bought one Red Shiso plant as a novelty. Its foliage was very distinctive and it had the promise of edible pleasure. Now, through the wonders of wind-aided propagation, I have several plants.

Searching through the web for recipes, Pickled Shiso leaves is one of the top hits, especially in Korea. Think of it as Korean grape leaves.

Apple, onion, garlic, and ginger are boiled in soy sauce and water for 30 minutes and then strained to remove solids. The leaves are then soaked in this brine in the refrigerator. The pickled leaves are eaten with rice. In my case, I made sushi rice with poke then garnished with zucchini and the pickled leaves.

Note: This is a very salty dish.

Korean name: 깻잎장아찌

Romanized: Kkaennip-jangajji

Categories: non spicy, pickle, preserved side dish, side dish, vegetarian


  • 1 pound of perilla leaves (about 450 grams)
  • soy sauce (1 1/2 cups)
  • a medium size apple
  • a medium size onion
  • 4 -5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP sliced ginger


  • Wash and drain 1 pound of perilla leaves and put them into a basket.
  • Prepare 1½ cup soy sauce to salt the leaves.
  • Pick some perilla leaves (about a dozen leaves) and put them into a large bowl. Drizzle soy sauce directly between the leaves, little by little. Repeat until all leaves are coated.
  • Turn the leaves over a couple of times to salt evenly and wait about 1 hour.
  • 1 hour later, squeeze the leaves slightly and put them into a container.
  • Transfer the liquid of soy sauce brine to a pot.
  • Add 1 cup of water, 1 medium size sliced onion, 4-5 cloves garlic, 1 medium sized sliced apple, 1 tbs of sliced ginger to the brine.
  • Bring to a boil for 30 minutes over medium high heat.
  • Strain the brine and cool it down until it reaches room temperature.
  • Pour the brine onto the leaves in the container and keep it in the refrigerator.

Serve with rice.

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