Korean Spinach Side Dish
In Korean, this dish is pronounced Sigeumchi Namul (시금치 나물).
Sigeumchi means spinach in Korean. And Namul means seasoned vegetable dishes.
Sigeumchi Namul is one of the healthiest banchans in Korea cooking. It involves no butter, minimal ingredients, is very nutritious and low in calories.
Growing up, I always found a Tupperware full of this Korean Spinach Side Dish in the back of our refrigerator.
My mom liked to make it in bulk at night. Then my sister and I would eat it for breakfast, alongside steamed eggs (gyeran jjim) and of course, a bowl of hot rice.
Sounds better than cold cereal no?
Making namul is very simple! Blanch the vegetable, squeeze the water out and season with soy sauce, sesame oil and/or salt.
The key taste variable is the chewing texture!
When blanching, we recommend that you set a timer for 30 seconds! (The time goes by very quickly…)
After 30 seconds, immediately soak the leaves in cold water to stop the cooking process.
If done correctly, the spinach stems and leaves will be soft but still have a slight crunch to them –great texture!
Spinach grows on the ground. So naturally, there is alot of dirt stuck in between the leaves – especially near the root.
So rinse and soak the spinach bundles until you don’t see any dirt or sand in the residual water.
When squeezing the blanched spinach bundles, give it around 3 good squeezes. You don’t need to squeeze the leaves dry…
How long does this store?
3-4 days in the refrigerator. We recommend making in small batches and making it fresh when you crave it.
Alrighty, I hope you enjoy this simple spinach recipe!
If you run out of veggie ideas, consider making this Sigeumchi Namul. It pairs beautifully with just about anything.
If you make it at home, tag us on IG (we LOVE seeing your food pics!)
-Daniel out! 🕺
Korean Seasoned Spinach - Sigeumchi Namul
- 400 grams of Spinach (Bagged Spinach is okay too)
- 1 teaspoon (!) of Salt (For Seasoning Water)
- 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Spring onion
- 1.5 teaspoons (!) of Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon (!) of Soy Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon (!) of Minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon (!) of Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (!) of Sesame seeds
- Wash the spinach (400 grams) thoroughly. Soak them in water and also give them a rinse - especially near the roots. Wash until you don't see any dirt in the residual water.
- Trim off the root pieces from the spinach (as shown in video)
- Dice a stalk of spring onion (use the white part) into thin pieces. Set aside around 2 Tablespoons worth for later
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it up to a boil. Put some Salt (1 teaspoon!) into the water. This salt helps the spinach leaves keep its dark green color after blanching.
- When the water is boiling, place in the spinach. Set a timer for 30 seconds - use your phone!
- After 30 seconds, immediately drain the pot and soak the blanched spinach in cold water. This will stop the cooking process.
- Grab handfuls of the spinach and give a thorough squeeze (3 strong squeezes). You don't need to squeeze all the water out - just give it 3 squeezes.
- Then de-tangle each of the spinach bundles and place into a separate mixing bowl. Now add-in the Spring Onions (2 Tablespoons).
- Then add in the seasoning: Sesame Oil (1.5 teaspoons!), Soy Sauce (1 teaspoon!), Minced Garlic (1/2 teaspoon!) and Salt (1/2 teaspoon!). Mix thoroughly.
- Finishing by garnish with Sesame Seeds (1/2 teaspoon!). Serve with rice!