Gochu (고추, chilli) is one of the most common ingredients in Korean cooking, but living in the city, sometimes their leaves get overlooked.
This is a crying shame—chilli leaves are delicious! They make a tasty side dish and have an earthy, savory flavor. Choose young and tender leaves, otherwise it will be quite woody and tough when you eat them. I still remember my grandma going to the backyard, picking all these young leaves and making a simple namul side dish.
1 bag (about 310g) gochutnip (chilli leaves), untrimmed
(If you trim them, it comes out to about 230g—mine had a lot of woody stems 🙁 )
1 tbsp Joseon ganjang + pinch of salt
2 tbsp chopped scallion
1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seed
1/2 tbsp cham-gireum (sesame oil)
1. Trim leaves. Get rid of any woody stems.
2. Blanch the leaves in boiling water, until the stems soften (usually about the time it takes to bring the water to a boil again).
3. Rinse in cold water and squeeze out any unnecessary moisture.
4. Place the blanched leaves in a large bowl and combine with the seasonings.
5. Place into a side dish and serve alongside other banchan with rice.
Gochutnip muchim will keep in the fridge for up to three days. But it’s most delicious when freshly prepared to eat them up as soon as possible! 🙂