Herbs for Health Recipe: Perilla – GamJa Tang & Shiso Tea

Herbs for Health Recipe: Perilla – GamJa Tang & Shiso Tea

Perilla herb has several health benefits. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and anti-cancer properties. Perilla leaves are also a good source of antioxidants.

Perilla is a green (and purplish-red), leafy herb that is native to Asia. It is also known as Shiso, sesame leaf, and beefsteak plant. Perilla leaves have a slightly minty flavour with a hint of anise. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium.

Source: SWTimes

Perilla leaves can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. Perilla leaves are also used to make perilla oil, which is used in cooking and cosmetics. They are used in a variety of Korean dishes, including bibimbap, kimchi, and GamJa Tang.

GamJa Tang is a traditional Korean stew made with pork and potatoes. It is a hearty and flavourful dish that is perfect for a cold winter day. Perilla leaves are often added to GamJa Tang for their unique flavour and health benefits.

GamJa Tang Recipe

Here is a recipe for GamJa Tang with perilla leaves:


  • 1 pound pork spine
  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup deulkkae-garu (perilla seeds powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup perilla leaves


  1. In a large pot, brown the pork spine on all sides.
  2. Add the potatoes, onion, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Pour in the water and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until the pork is tender.
  5. Add the gochujang, doenjang, gochugaru, fish sauce, and deulkkae-garu.
  6. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the flavors have meld together.
  7. Add the perilla leaves and cook for 1 minute, or until wilted.
  8. Serve hot with rice.


  • You can add other vegetables to GamJa Tang, such as carrots, celery, and green onions.
  • If you don't have perilla leaves, you can substitute with spinach or kale.
  • GamJa Tang can be made ahead of time and reheated when you're ready to serve it.
  • The amount of gochujang and gochugaru can be adjusted to your desired level of spiciness.

GamJa Tang is a delicious and nutritious dish that is perfect for any occasion. Perilla leaves add a unique flavour and health benefits to the stew. So next time you're looking for a hearty and flavourful meal, give GamJa Tang a try!

Beyond its culinary uses, perilla packs a punch when it comes to health benefits. It's a rich source of vitamins A and C, offering significant antioxidant properties. Additionally, perilla contains compounds believed to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and even anti-cancer effects.

One particularly delightful way to reap the benefits of perilla is through tea. Perilla tea is a simple yet potent beverage with a refreshing minty taste and a surprisingly subtle sweetness. It's perfect for a relaxing afternoon or a soothing nightcap.

Perilla (Shiso) Tea Recipe

Here's how you can easily brew your perilla tea:


  • 1 cup fresh perilla leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Honey or sweetener to taste (optional)
  • Ice (optional)


  1. Wash the perilla leaves thoroughly and pat them dry.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  3. Add the perilla leaves to the boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cover for another 5 minutes to allow the flavours to steep.
  5. Add ½ cup apple cider vinegar, and adjust to your liking.
  6. Strain the tea into mugs and enjoy it warm, with a touch of honey or sweetener if desired.
  7. Add ice if you prefer to have it chilled. 


Bonus Read:

More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Stay tuned for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...


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