Spinach with Sesame and Garlic

Side DishGluten-FreeVegetarianSpinach

Asian spinach recipe with sesame and garlic. A simple Korean method for cooking spinach.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Updated, from the recipe archive. First posted November, 2005

I never get tired of eating spinach. Good thing it’s so good for you! This is a fun take on spinach, a Korean version, with the spinach wilted in sesame oil with garlic, and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. I found the recipe years ago in Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World. In typical Bittman style, the spinach is quick, easy, and good.

Spinach with Sesame and Garlic Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 2-4.

If you are using bagged baby spinach, the presoaking is not necessary, as that spinach is pretty clean. Also baby spinach does not need to be chopped. The spinach you get in bunches from the farmers market can have a lot of dirt at the root ball that needs to be washed out before you use the spinach.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb fresh spinach, soaked in water to clean, drained, excess water squeezed out, large stems removed and discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method

1 If you haven't already toasted the sesame seeds, do that first. Heat a stick-free skillet on medium high. Add raw sesame seeds and use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir. The seeds may make a popping noise and jump up, almost like popcorn. They will toast very quickly, so stir constantly until they begin to brown and smell like they are toasted. Remove from pan into a separate bowl as soon as they are done.

sesame-spinach-1.jpgsesame-spinach-2.jpg

2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the spinach and cook, stirring occassionally, until the spinach is completely wilted. Turn the heat to low.

3 Stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Remove from the heat. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold, drizzled with the remaining sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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Adapted from The Best Recipes in the World.

19 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Megan

    Hi, could this be made with frozen spinach? I don’t have fresh on hand. I have a 500g bag, will that be enough?

  • Holly

    My husband and I loved this recipe! I substituted the sugar for a couple drops of organic stevia and it was fantastic!

  • Brooke

    This recipe was great! I had spinach, cabbage and rainbow carrots that I needed to use from last week’s CSA, and this recipe sounded perfect. I added sliced green onions and crushed red pepper to the garlic, and cooked the shredded cabbage and julienned carrots until softened before adding the spinach. The combination of slightly sweet, salty and spicy is wonderful, and the texture of the veggies was perfect. I love your site Elise! I come here frequently for inspiration.

  • AZ

    Hi,

    Is dark sesame oil the same thing as toasted sesame oil?

    Thanks!

    Yes. ~Elise

  • a kim

    Yes, in our family we are also blanchers. Never seen a fried version. We do not use sugar. We do use both finely chopped green onions and ground sesame seeds (there is a little gadget for grinding sesame seeds)

    You can do similar a treatment with other vegetables.

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Spinach with Sesame and Garlic