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.
- 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 lb fresh spinach (if using mature spinach, soak in water to clean, drain, squeeze out excess water, remove and discard large stems, roughly chop leaves)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free version)
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 Toast the sesame seeds: 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.
2 Cook garlic and spinach in sesame oil: 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 occasionally, until the spinach is completely wilted. Turn the heat to low.
3 Add sugar and soy sauce: 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.