• Micah

Korean-Inspired Perilla Leaf Tacos

The Korean Wave has taken over the world! South Korean director Bong Joonho's masterful movie Parasite swept all of the award shows this season and even took home the Oscars' coveted Best Picture title, crowning Parasite as the first non-English film and first South Korean film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Yep, pretty crazy.


But our friends from East Asia aren't just ruling the cinemas- they're ruling radio stations (BTS Army raise your hands!), our Netflix screens, and our plates.


Korean cuisine can seem pretty intimidating at first glance. People always assume that they should steer clear of Korean food if they can't handle their spice because of how red the dishes can get, and they're totally missing out! Besides, red doesn't always mean spicy.


I personally love Korean food and all of the flavors that burst out from each bite. They always use the freshest ingredients, tons of veg, and a lot of options are actually super healthy! I'm daydreaming about kimbap, green onion pancakes, and bowls of bibimbap as I write this. It's always a mental struggle.


One ingredient I noticed was used in a lot of these dishes was the popular Korean leafy vegetable Perilla, or kkaennip. I've seen the Korean ladies serve them as a side dish or as an integral part of the main dish and I never complained. These little guys are tiny but mighty- they always managed to complete each dish.


Long story short, I quickly turned into a Perilla leaf fan and decided to come up with a quick and easy healthy and vegan Korean-inspired recipe that anyone can make at home. I paired Korean cuisine staples like perilla leaves, kimchi, and pickled daikons with healthy ingredients anyone can find at home.


Perilla leaves are actually a part of the mint family. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and make a fragrant and refreshing shell for these little "tacos". Check out your closest Asian grocery store for these delicious leaves. No perilla? No problem! Use lettuce cups or traditional taco-sized tortillas!


Save this recipe for your next Korean drama Netflix binge! I hear Crash Landing On You's pretty good?

Korean-Inspired Perilla Leaf Tacos

Total Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4 people


Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed

  • 1 tbsp mirin

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp soya sauce or tamari

  • 2 cloves garlic minced, divided

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 each bell pepper, sliced

  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms

  • 2 each spring onions, chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 blood orange, peeled and chopped

  • 1/4 cup kimchi, chopped

  • 1/4 cup pickled daikon, thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 10-12 each fresh perilla leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Combine cubed sweet potato with mirin, rice vinegar, soya sauce, 1 clove garlic, and sesame oil. Transfer to baking tray and roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender.

  3. In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms and spring onion. Stir frequently, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Toss with sesame seeds.

  4. Arrange cooked sweet potato, mushroom mixture, blood orange, kimchi, daikon, and avocado on a serving tray.

  5. Assemble and enjoy!

#korean #vegan

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