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Japanese Spinach with Sesame and Soy

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

In Japan, this simple dish is often served cold. Try it as a first-course salad or as a side for salmon. Grinding the sesame seeds for the dressing brings out their nutty flavor and toasty aroma.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. baby spinach (about 16 loosely packed cups)
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4-1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 60
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 30
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 6
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 4


  • Bring an 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Add the spinach to the pot, pressing it into the water with a slotted spoon, and cook for 20 seconds. Remove with the spoon and plunge into the ice water. Transfer the spinach to a colander, spreading it out to drain. Using a clean, folded dishtowel, press down on the spinach to remove as much water as possible. Toss the spinach, spread it out, and press it again if necessary, using a fresh towel. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, spread the spinach on top, cover with paper towels, and chill for 30 minutes
  • Using a spice grinder, grind 2 Tbs. of the sesame seeds with 1/2 tsp. of the sugar. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 tsp. sugar with the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir in the ground sesame seeds.
  • Add the chilled spinach and gently toss it with your hands, separating any clumps. Serve sprinkled with the remaining sesame seeds.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • ellen3409 | 08/01/2015

    Delicious! If it weren't for having to press the moisture out of the spinach I would give it 5 stars. I served it as a cold side to red miso glazed salmon and got nothing but raves. We ate it all. I wished I had made more!

  • User avater
    Pielove | 03/27/2012

    Simple, nutritious, easy-- and delicious! The toasty nutty sesame dressing with just a tiny hint of sweet is perfect over the spinach. I think I ate the whole recipe's worth of spinach myself-- I can practically feel my muscles bulging!

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