This spinach side dish (sigeumchi namul – 시금치나물) can be in eaten as a side dish or included in a number of other dishes including kimbap (김밥), japchae (잡채), and bibimbap (비빔밥). It is a quick simple healthy dish with only 4 main ingredients.
- salt (or soy sauce)
- sesame oil
- garlic, minced
- optional for garnish:
- sesame seeds, roasted and crushed
- green onion, thinly sliced
I haven’t included any measurements because the amount of spinach you could be working with can vary from fresh bunches or bagged spinach. Even the size of the bagged spinach changed recently from 10 oz to 8 oz. I recommend avoiding baby spinach here because it is too fragile and does not hold up well to blanching.
Seasoning amounts can be added by taste. My mother always used salt so that’s what I use, but I’ve seen many recipes using soy sauce instead. Add sesame oil slowly and incrementally because of its strong flavor and to avoid making it too oily.
In a large boiling pot of water, blanch the spinach by immersing it for around 30 seconds (or less). Drain and wash in cold water immediately to stop the cooking. Once cool, squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach. After blanching, the volume of the spinach decreases quite considerably. . .where did all the spinach go?!
Place the spinach and minced garlic in a bowl and season with salt and sesame oil. The easiest and most effective method is to mix everything using your hand as my mom did.
If this is for a banchan (side dish), then you can garnish the top with a little bit of crushed roasted sesame seeds and finely sliced green onions.
Included in the following recipes:
(with links once they are available)