Deep-fried Sesame Leaves  and kimchi Stuffed with Scallops, Kkaenip Sobaegi Twigim


Wild sesame leaves, perilla leaves are sold at the Asian and Korean supermarkets year round. It is so easy to grow that they are thriving too well in my garden until the frost. I pick them in a basketful every morning. The recipe captures their exciting minty flavor and texture when deep-fried. The light oil turns them into the crisp and nutty crumbles. The succulent bite of scallop is added delight to this elegant and delicious dish. It makes a beautiful entrée or side dish, too.

Serves 4

35 minutes to cook


20 kkaennip leaves (wild sesame leaves), each about 3 inches wide and unblemished

5 large sea scallops, each sliced sideways into 2 rounds, making 10 scallops

1 tablespoon aged whole cabbage kimchi, stuffing shaken off, rinsed and finely minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds

½ cup all-purpose wheat flour or sweet rice flour

1 cup olive oil or canola oil

4 Korean hot red peppers, broiled

4 Korean hot green peppers, broiled

1 whole pickled garlic (see page___), sliced into thin rounds


Wash the leaves in cold water and drain in a strainer. Put in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Transfer to the refrigerator to refreshen. Wash scallops and soak in cold water for a few minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Roll the scallops in sesame seeds to coat all sides. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet rice flour and 1 cup chilled water. Add salt and pepper. Take out the leaves and with a paper towel, pat dry each leaf well. Place a scallop on one leaf and brush the batter around the edge of the leaf. Cover with a second leaf and seal. Repeat with the remaining scallops and leaves. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Slide 3 wraps into the hot oil and cook about 1 minute per side, until golden crisp and fragrant. Transfer to a paper lined flat basket tray. Repeat with the remaining wraps. While cooling, make the dipping sauce. With a sharp knife, slice each scallop into half, showing them off.  On individual plates, serve four pieces on a bed of two fresh sesame seed leaves. Garnish with broiled hot peppers and picked garlic. Serve the dipping sauce on side.