In 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.
Ingredients (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
- Bring a quart of water to a boil
- Dunk in the spinach base first, leaves on top
- Mix in and boil for about 1.5~2 minutes.
- Drain and run the spinach under cold water to cool.
- Grab by the base and squeeze out the excess moisture.
- Cut the greens into 4 cm. long segments
- In a bowl mix salt and sesame oil
- Add greens in a bowl and mix thoroughly
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and mix lightly
click to enlarge
Serve as side dish