Kanako's Kitchen

Spinach Namul

Posted in Recipe, side dish by Kanako Noda on November 6, 2009

spinach namulIn Japanese cooking, taste is the main thing, but not the only thing: a meal’s color balance is also important. You should never serve a meal where all the dishes look the same. So sometimes, when I decide on a main dish and a side dish, I realize something green is lacking in the meal. Spinach namul is a great solution to that problem.

Variety is the key to color balance. So when you have something brown (often meat, or miso soup), you need to balance it with something green or red (mostly in the form of vegetables), something white (from white rice), or something yellow (egg or mustard). That, by the way, is why when I make takikomi-gohan (savory rice, which is brownish), I always serve it with osuimono (which is a clear broth) rather than with miso soup.

Quick, tasty and healthy, spinach namul is the perfect side dish when you choose a menu and realize, at the last minute, that you really need to add something green.

fleur de sel and sesame oilIngredients (for two):


  • A bunch of Spinach (you need the whole plant, not just the leaves)
  • Salt – one teaspoon
  • Sesame oil – one tablespoon
  • Sesame seeds -one teaspoon
  • A pinch of salt for the water you boil the spinach in

The preparation is the same as for ohitashi, only the sauce is different

  1. Bring a quart of water to a boil
  2. Dunk in the spinach base first, leaves on top
  3. Mix in and boil for about 1.5~2 minutes.
  4. Drain and run the spinach under cold water to cool.
  5. Grab by the base and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  6. Cut the greens into 4 cm. long segments
  7. In a bowl mix salt and sesame oil
  8. Add greens in a bowl and mix thoroughly
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds and mix lightly

spinach boil the water boil spinach

drain squeeze cut spinach

salt and sesame oil mix thoroughly sprinkle sesame seeds

click to enlarge

Serve as side dish

Tagged with: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: