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Sesame Spinach

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Spinach, simply blanched and then topped with a savory sesame sauce that features sesame in three forms. Toss and mix, then it's ready to eat! This is a great spinach side dish that can be prepared in advance. Enjoy hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Sesame Spinach, ready to mix and eat.
Sesame Spinach, ready to mix and eat.

Why This Recipe Works

Hooray for spinach!

There are a million ways to eat spinach and this is one of my favorites. You just quickly blanch the spinach (for just a minute) and then drain and squeeze out the water. It's topped with super delicious sesame sauce. And then you eat it!

The magic in this dish is the sesame sauce. It's a savory, garlicky mixture of many great pantry ingredients. The foundation of this sauce is sesame paste. The sesame paste is seasoned with soy sauce and oyster sauce and a bunch of garlic.

Then we stir in sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds. So you get three types of sesame in this sauce! It is super onolicious.

Neat tip: This sesame sauce can be used to dress many other vegetables. I love tossing this sauce with green beans, sugar snap peas, and broccoli. Or you can even use it as a dip for raw vegetables!

Ingredients for Sesame Spinach (spinach, sesame paste, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and roasted sesame seeds).
Ingredients for Sesame Spinach.

Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you'll need:

We keep all these ingredients ready in our pantry because they are used in many other popular local recipes. You can find these ingredients at the Japanese and/or Chinese supermarket.

In Hawaii, you can find all the ingredients (except for the sesame paste), at nearly all local supermarkets.

Sesame Paste

The one ingredient I get the most questions about is sesame paste. Sesame paste is not as common as sesame seeds or sesame oil. But I feel like it's starting to get more and more popular, so that's a good thing.

Sesame paste is made from roasted sesame seeds that are ground up super fine (beyond the stage of a powder) to the point where it becomes a thick liquid or sauce.

It's rich and flavorful and serves as the foundation for so many great dishes including my favorite Wontons with Sesame Sauce and Green Beans with Sesame Dressing (Gomaae).

There is both golden/white sesame paste and black sesame paste (which we use for dishes like Black Sesame Toast and Black Sesame Sauce On Steamed Tofu).

When people just say "sesame paste" they are most likely referring to the golden/white version.

I rotate between two brands for sesame paste:

Note: Tahini is not the same as sesame paste. Tahini is made from not-roasted sesame seeds. Sesame paste is made from roasted sesame seeds.

Sesame sauce for Sesame Spinach.
The sesame sauce mixture.

Step by Step Directions

Let's begin! This is very easy, just three steps.

Prepare the spinach.
Wash and then blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Drain and squeeze dry. Arrange on a plate or bowl.

Tip: Make sure not to overcook the spinach. We want it just cooked, so it's still bright and green.

Make the sesame sauce.
Now we make the sauce! In a small bowl, mix together the sesame paste, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, and roasted sesame seeds.

Note: If you prefer the sauce to be a little thinner (so that it's easier to mix with the spinach later), add 1-2 teaspoons of hot water and mix well.

Mix and eat.
Spoon the sauce over the spinach. Mix and eat!

You can enjoy this dish hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

FAQs and Tips

How long does this dish keep?

1-2 days in the refrigerator, but best enjoyed the day you make it.

You can eat it hot, room temperature, and cold?

Yes! You can really enjoy this dish at all temperatures. When I'm in a rush, I eat it hot, right after I finish preparing the dish.

But for the most part, I usually prepare this an hour in advance, then go make other dishes for lunch/dinner. So by the time everything is ready to eat, our "main dish" is hot and this Sesame Spinach is at room temperature, which is really nice.

Or you can also chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours and enjoy cold. This is so good on hot days.

What dishes to pair with this?

Oh there are many good dishes that pair well! Here are a few ideas:
- Furikake Salmon
- Rafute (Okinawan Shoyu Pork)
- Misoyaki Butterfish
- Yang Chow Fried Rice
- Local-Style Chicken Tofu

Sesame Spinach Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Sesame Spinach

Sesame Spinach

Yield: 2-3 as a side dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Spinach, simply blanched and then topped with a savory sesame sauce that features sesame in three forms. Toss and mix, then it's ready to eat! This is a great spinach side dish that can be prepared in advance. Enjoy hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Instructions

  1. Wash and then blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Drain and squeeze dry. Arrange on a plate.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the sesame paste, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, and roasted sesame seeds. (Note: If you like the sauce on the thinner side, add 1-2 teaspoons of hot water and mix well.)
  3. Spoon the sauce over the spinach, and serve! Mix and eat. Enjoy this dish hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

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