Seasoned Spinach (Sigeumchi Namul)

April 18, 2020 Updated: April 18, 2020

Flavored with sesame, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, this is another classic banchan. Mature spinach, with its contrasting textures of sturdy stems and velvety leaves, is a better choice than baby spinach here.

Serves 4

  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spinach, stem ends trimmed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and pepper to taste and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set the sesame dressing aside.

Blanch the spinach in the boiling water until just wilted and then shock in the ice water bath. Drain well and squeeze out any excess water. Gently loosen the clumps of spinach with your fingers, transfer to the bowl of sesame dressing, and toss together. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour to let the flavors meld before serving.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Korean Food Made Simple” by Judy Joo.