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Garlic-Sesame Sautéed Spinach (Sautéed Sigeumchi Namul)

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garlicsesame sautéed spinach
Joel Goldberg

This easy sautéed spinach recipe is our take on the classic Korean banchan (aka side dish) sigeumchi namul, which is typically made using blanched spinach. The rich flavor of toasted sesame oil pairs beautifully with the verdant spinach, and fresh scallions, peppery raw garlic, and rice vinegar bring a pleasant brightness that keeps you coming back for bite after bite.

We find this recipe works best with mature, full-leaf spinach, as it maintains a bit more texture than baby spinach. (Just make sure you trim the ends and wash it thoroughly!) If baby spinach is what you have on hand, go forth! It will still be delicious.

Wanna complete the meal? This spinach would be perfect in a bowl of  bibimbap or served alongside kimbap. Or, if you're looking for a super quick dinner, serve it on top of rice with some baked tofu or pan-fried salmon for protein.   

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 10 mins

garlic clove, grated


scallions, thinly sliced

2 tsp.

toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp.

toasted sesame oil

2 tsp.

low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp.

rice vinegar

1/2 tsp.

granulated sugar

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1 lb.

fresh spinach, trimmed and washed

1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil, for pan

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper flakes if using.
  2. Roughly chop spinach into large pieces. Add a thin layer of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until bright green and wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Use tongs to transfer spinach to the bowl with sauce, and toss to coat.
  3. Let cool for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Joel Goldberg
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