Jihee Kim is the force behind Perilla LA, the modern Korean banchan in a box made with home gatherings in mind.
Pre-Perilla, Jihee has leant her talents to San Francisco’s Gary Danko and Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon. The rotating menu at her 2019 pop-up series Dandi was referred to as an “eclectic Korean tasting menu (that) has changed the game entirely,” by Food & Wine. Perilla LA made the coveted Los Angeles Times 101 List for take-out and pop-ups.
*photo cred Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times
Perilla is Jihee’s return to her roots and long standing desire to infuse Korean banchan with diverse techniques created from fresh produce from weekly farmers markets. It’s the most delicious way to eat your vegetables.
Menu Items Featured.
1. Sweet Potato: Braised in gingery soy sauce with orange peel
2. Napa Cabbage Kimchi: Fermented napa cabbage with Korean chili flake, garlic, fish sauce, onion, and ginger
3. Rolled Egg: Rolled egg omelette with seaweed
4. Pickled Shishito: Muchim with Doenjang (fermented soybean)
5. Fermented Cabbage: Layered with perilla leaf
6. Green Bean Muchim: With creamy garlic, sesame paste.
7. Steamed Eggplant: Scallion, garlic serrano.
8. Fermented Cucumber with Korean Pear: Gochugaru (Korean chili flake), garlic, rice vinegar.
9. Steamed Rice: Seasoned with furikake and soy braised mushroom.
1. What is banchan?
Banchan are the little side dishes that are meant to be eaten in a Korean meal.
2. How is banchan a different approach to eating?
Banchan is versatile. Most banchan are heavily vegetable-focused. While some of the ingredients aren't necessarily new the flavor combination and approach to each banchan can be geared to the person making it or for who it's being prepared for. Salty banchan can be paired with blander less seasoned foods while sweeter banchan can be paired with flavor-rich foods. Also, you can control the flavor more by eating it with rice which acts as a familiar base and flavor enhancer/compliment.
3. In banchan - what is the perfect meat to veggie ratio?
One bite of meat with 5-6 small bites of vegetables. You always want to end up eating more vegetables than meat. Banchan helps you maintain balance in your appetite and your stomach.
4. What does family-style mean to you in this day and age?
So "family style" is a new term for me when I came to the States because for me every meal I've had was "family style", growing up sharing meals was a must and deeply ingrained in our culture. Here "family style" means huge portions that everyone can pass around.
5. How did your culinary experience (Rustic Canyon, Dandi) prepare you to start Perilla for the folks at home?
So working at a professional kitchen helped me rethink the possibilities on how I can create my dishes and expand the world of ingredients that I can use for banchan.
6. Share your must-have pantry items?
Sesame oil, Gochugaru, Sesame seeds, and Fermented plum extract, all different kinds of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce.
7. Where is your favorite place to eat banchan in LA?
Jun Won used to be my favorite place to eat banchan but they closed because of poor business due to Covid-19 closures.
Mild or Spicy?
Bibimbap or Gimbap?
Pickleback or Piggyback?
Cabbage or Daikon?
Salmon or Steak?