Along with sushi, agedashi tofu and chicken yakitori, this tasty sesame spinach salad is always on our order when we go out for Japanese in the big city. It took 2 attempts, but I finally got the dressing right.
I can’t wait for spring…spinach fresh from the garden.
**Note added Mar 3, 2011: I recently substituted 1 tablespoon mirin for the 2 tablespoons of sake, and discovered an even more authentic flavour. My approach has always been ùse what you`ve got, so I leave you with options.
Yield: 4 small servings
|Spinach, picked over, washed and stems trimmed to 2-3”||1 bunch|
|Sesame Seeds, roasted||¼ C||60 ml|
|Sugar||3 t||15 ml|
|Soya Sauce||1½ T||25 ml|
|Sake (or Mirin)||2 T (1 T)||30 ml (15ml)|
lb=pound C=cup g=grams t=teaspoon
T=tablespoon ml=millilitres TT=to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
Add the spinach to the boiling and cook for 1 minute. Quickly remove the leaves with tongs and immerse them in the ice water to halt the cooking and preserve the bright green colour. Once cool, gently roll the spinach in a clean towel. Squeeze gently and set aside to dry.
Grind the sesame seeds to a paste in a spice/coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Dissolve the sugar in 1 tablespoon of very hot water. In a small bowl, combine the sesame paste, sugar, soya sauce and sake.
Cut the spinach into 2” lengths. To serve, pile a small amount of spinach on the plate and drizzle with the sesame dressing. Garnish with sesame seeds or Gomashio.
Leftover dressing will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- When you salt water for cooking, it should taste salty.
- I tried this with black sesame seeds. It tastes the same, but the colour, is as you’d expect, muddy.