Monday, December 11, 2006

Gomaae - Cooked Spinach Salad

We used to go to our favorite japanese restaurant for sushi and the little ones would have their usual teriyaki chicken with rice and miso soup. Now it's not so easy eating out with wired toddlers who are ready to stretch their boundries in so many ways. It would be nice if we could bring some extra hands and eyes along to watch them, but not many of our friends are fond of japanese food, and grandparents on both sides won't touch it with their chopsticks either. Or any other utensils, I suppose.
So, I made some simple recipes for a japanese night in, and I like this variation of preparing spinach when we make a japanese dinner. The spinach is cooked or steamed till just wilted, and removed from the heat quickly. Drain well, and toss with dressing. A light and healthy side dish to teriyaki chicken.
Recipe adapted from Yoshizuka
1 pound spinach leaves
3 tbsps white sesame
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce

The way I do it:
Remove stems from spinach. I usually purchase a bag of spinach leaves for convenience. Wash and boil spinach till just wilted. Remove quickly. Drain the water very well.
Toast sesame seeds. I use my spice toaster over the gas stove. I have used a non-stick skillet before over the gas stove to toast the sesame seeds. Be careful as they'll pop! Put half of the sesame seeds in a grinder and grind them. Add sugar, soy sauce, and sake in the grinder and mix well. Add spinach and stir well. I like to sprinkle the rest of sesame seeds on top as garnish, and also to let everyone know what ingredient is in the dish that way.

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