Those Fantastic Sesame Leaves

Hello again.  I’ve been waiting a long time to tell you about this delicious piece of Korean cooking.  I’ve had so many things to say here on Bondaygee.com, but this has been one of the top stories that I’ve been dying to share.  So sit back and listen to this tasty tale from a Canadian guy who lived in Korea for twelve years and fell in love with their healthy foods.

So when I first went to Korea, I was sitting there having one of their famous Samkyubsal BBQ dinners.  That’s basically BBQed pork strips.  It’s quite delicious.  And as he we were eating this dinner, the Korean waitress brought the “lettuce wraps” to wrap and eat the bites of meat, onions and special sauce, samjung.  Well I took a look over at the plate of green leaves and said what is that?  I knew the green leaf lettuce well, but didn’t know about those other strange looking leaves.

My Korean guests said they were “Sesame Leaves”, 깨닢.  I gave them try and shrieked at how bitter they were.  “I’m not eating those.  They’re gross.  Too bitter!” I declared and refused them for the rest of the night.

Well, life is funny and so are our taste buds and perceptions because for three years later, I was trying to figure out what the “mystery ingredient” was in so many foods I had fallen in love with.  For instance, the Kimchi Fried Rice, the Kimbob, the Dalk-kalbi, and several other things.  Just imagine my shock when I discovered it was the very thing I said I couldn’t stand!  Sesame leaves!  The official name for them in English is Perilla leaves.  I recommend you get them into your diet.  They cause some kind of culinary ecstasy in me when I eat them.

We just drove from here in Kelowna, BC, Canada to Vancouver where we got a couple packages of those delicious leaves.  For two days, I ate them with almost everything I cooked.  Do you know the happy food dance?  It’s a lot like your family dog when he sees you arriving at home from a long journey!  That was me for two days!

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