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Korean Pickled Sesame Leaves

September 7, 2008

I found sites calling it Ggaet’ip Kimchi, as well as Gaennip / Kaennip Kimchee … but whatever it is, it’s amazing.

A few of my classmates cooked dinner tonight, and I just had Gaennip for the first time. I was shocked how good it was / how much I enjoyed it. My classmate Lina is German-Korean, meaning she’s from Germany but her parents are Korean. Her dad grows the leaves and pickles them himself. According to Lina (because I wouldn’t know), these ones we had turned quite sour (I can say they were darker in color than the picture below…they looked more-erm, broken-down). Also according to Lina, nobody can make them like as well as her dad. She’s trying to learn, but when she asks him how much of this or that to add, he says “you just feel it.” Anyway, I rolled little balls of rice in the leaves and ate it that way. It was amazing. Did I mention that it was amazing? I have a feeling this is one of those foods I’ll never be able to find again (I mean, I might find it–but it won’t taste as I remember it), and I’ll always be in pursuit of it (kind of like the curry that Zara, the former princess of Afghanistan, cooked for me when I was in Northern Ireland. But that’s another story…)

Here’s a link telling more about the dish.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 11, 2008 5:01 pm

    I grow seame leaves in my garden in North Georgia. they die even in our short winter, but I allow them to grow to full flowering and let them “overseed” ( allow some the plants that I don’t harvest, to dry out at the end of the season, November, and to have the seeds fall to the ground, then in the spring they multiply again. ) We eat the leaves raw as, like a taco shell. But I ate the pickled ones in Korea, and want to pickle some of them right now, so I’ll have some for the winter. Packed with vitamins and fiber. I have enough leaves to feed the whole neighborhood, but since the leaves are not served at McDonalds, then folks around hear consider it a bit too exotic.
    Try growing some yourself. even if you don’t eat most of them, its still a pretty plant.

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