3.11.2012

Korean Spinach (Sigeumchi Namul)

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We've been pretty good about keeping up with the Korean food. For a while there, I wasn't sure if I could last all of 2012, but I'm back on track. As I write this, Korean marinaded drumsticks are baking in my oven. And here's a quick Korean spinach side dish that didn't last very long in our fridge.

Spinach is not very photogenic, especially not in my kitchen light. And on top of it being a blurry vegetable, it also shrinks too much. When I buy two large bunches of spinach, I know they will wilt, I know this, but each time I'm disappointed at how much it wilts, and I end up with so little.

The longest and hardest part of this recipe is washing the spinach. I do this in my large salad spinner. I soak and lift, soak and lift, then soak and lift one more time, until all the dirt is at the bottom. The second hardest part is squeezing out the excess water from your blanched spinach. There's so much water! After that, it's smooth sailing.

I doubled the recipe and still this stuff disappeared quickly, so I definitely recommend making a large batch. This cold side dish goes well with noodles and meats, and makes a great snack on its own. The flavors are subtle, but there's a hint of garlicky spiciness that makes this spinach extra delicious.
Korean Spinach

1 bunch spinach (about 10 ounces)
1 scallion, chopped
2 teaspoons chili pepper paste (gochujang)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

1) Blanch your clean spinach in salted boiling water for 30 - 40 seconds.
2) Quickly remove the spinach from the pot and shock in cold water.
3) Drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Cut into 3-inch lengths, if you have larger pieces.
4) Add the remaining ingredients and mix everything well by hand.
5) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the flavors blend.

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