spinach salad asian-style

Make this and you’ll be pushing more spinach than Popeye! Too bad Olive Oyl didn’t know about this one, mind you, she would’ve had to have stopped buying spinach in case lots and gone for the fresh stuff. And unfortunately for spinach, it was the stuff in the can that gave it such an appalling reputation. Really? Spinach in a can? What could be nastier? Don’t answer that!

spinach salad/feature 1

Get yourself a mound of fresh, gorgeously green leaves and proceed with passion, purpose and full knowledge that, in the nutrient department, nothing is richer, denser or higher – kinda like the Big Apple – you know, the king of the hill, the top of the heap sort of thing – of the vegetable patch.

spinach leaves

To the Japanese, this is gomae, to the rest of us, this is the only way to consume spinach. I promise. And a word about the raw vs cooked debate – have you noticed that a massive mound of raw spinach cooks down to something you could inhale? We stuff our largest pan in the kitchen full of green leaves, force on the lid and mere minutes later … where’d it go? Which is precisely why cooking it is the way to go – consumption approaches epic proportions in volume, which leads to a nutritional homerun. Not only can you consume vast amounts in a couple of mouthfuls, the iron that spinach has locked up is much more easily absorbed by us humans once it meets heat.


And finally, it’s right about now that I’m going to burst, (or should I say bust) the spinach salad myth that’s been thriving for decades – it’s a healthy choice, it’s spinach for God’s sake, so back up the spinach salad truck – beep, beep, beep! Well – yes, it is spinach – spinach wearing a 20 gram fat suit (and if that’s all it is, you got off easy)! Flat out, whatever your “dressing” of choice is – it’s fully-loaded. Sorry. The good news? Stick with this method, switch up the greens, switch up the sauce and start scarfing spinach like you’re trying to turn green!

click here to jump down to the spinach salad asian-style recipe


1. Wash, spin dry and pile in a microwave-safe bowl as much spinach as you like – I do a whole bag or bunch at a time (at least)! And you’ll soon see why. It does its amazing disappearing act.

spinach in a bowl raw

2. Watch veeeeeery closely – see, the bowl is full, no mirrors, no smoke, well, maybe a little steam, so here goes …

spinach half-cooked

3. One minute later, it starts to disappear like the amazing shrinking woman

spinach almost cooked

4. Going, going –

spinach cooked

5. Gone – well, almost. It’s 1/4 of what I started with.

spinach in a bowl raw

6. From here to –

spinach cooked

7. To here. Now you can see why you can eat acres of spinach in one sitting.

spinach squeezed /chopped

8. Start squeezing. And when I say squeezing, I mean it – squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can. it will probably be the size of a baseball.


9. After the big squeeze, lay the spinach down and run a knife through it a few times.


10. Get out the base for the sauce – tahini, either soy or ponzu and a hint of sweet in the form of sugar or agave.

gomae sauce

11. Now we’re makin’ sauce – and that would be tahini, soy sauce & garlic.

gomae sauce whisked

12. Whisk it all around.

gomae sauce thinned

13. Add a splash of water to thin it slightly.

gomae sauce/blue agave

14. Add a drizzle of blue agave or honey to sweeten – it’s the hint of sweetness that will keep you coming back for more.

spinach to sauce

15. Add the chopped spinach to the sauce and mix well.

sesame seeds toasting

16. Toast a tablespoon or 2 of sesame seeds if you like, not mandatory, but nice.

sesame oil

17. Drizzle a little sesame oil to finish before the seeds go on, to bring that sesame flavour home.

spinach salad/feature 1a

18. Sesame seeds go on – and ta dah – Japanese-inspired spinach salad.

One Response to spinach salad asian-style
  1. Henri
    January 11, 2012 | 8:48 am

    I love it!

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