Welcome to my first recipe post! Today I would like to share one of my favorite Korean ingredients, the perilla or sesame leaf. These leaves are part of the mint family and related to Japanese shiso. It is hard to exactly describe the unique flavor of these delicious leaves, the only way to truly know is to try them! They are in most Korean food markets and can be found at your local H Mart in the vegetable section. They are usually packaged in a white Styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic wrap.
This recipe is similar to one for a dumpling, but the wrapper is the delicious leaf instead of a flour based wrapper. This healthy and gluten free recipes utilizes lean ground beef and only a little bit of olive oil.
Sesame Leaf Jeon (깻잎전)
- Cook time: 30 min
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Yield: 15-20 pieces depending on the size of your sesame leaves
- Tip: If you incorporate the strained tofu into the filling it will help bind the filling and keep it from falling out of the sesame leaf during cooking.
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% but > 85% should do)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp grated ginger root or ginger powder
- 3 diced cloves garlic
- 1 small pepper (I used Serrano but any pepper of your liking is fine)
- 1 sweet onion
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C flour
- 1 package of sesame leaves (should contain 15-25 leaves)
- Olive oil or other oil for pan sautéing/frying
- 2 Tbsp prepared ponzu sauce (I used Marukan)
- 1 scallion/green onion
- Optional: 1/2 C strained firm tofu, blanched beansprouts
1. Combine the lean ground beef with the strained tofu (optional), blanched beansprouts (optional) salt, sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, diced garlic, and sesame oil. Grate the ginger into this mixture. Small dice the pepper and add to the mixture. With a plastic glove kneed all the spices and pepper into the ground beef.
2. Small dice the sweet onion.
3. Heat a wok or skillet/saucepan on medium and then add the meat and sweet onions. (You do not need to add any oil to the pan before doing this because the natural oil from the meat will come out during the cooking). Cook until the meat is barely cooked through and the onions start to look translucent. You do not need to completely cook the filling during this stage since the jeon will get cooked once more after it has been in the eggwash.
4. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl.
5. Dip the edges of a leaf in the flour and then dip the edges in the egg wash. This will help the sesame leaf stay together. Fill the inside leaf with the meat and onion mixture.
6. Fold the leaf in half vertically and press together the edges. Dredge the outside leaf on both sides in flour and dip in the egg wash. Repeat this process for the remaining leaves.
7. Heat a skillet or wok on medium, fill with enough olive oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Drop in sesame leaf jeon so they do not crowd the pan and cook 1 min per side. Transfer to plate.
8. Enjoy with rice and ponzu sauce garnished with chopped scallions/green onion