Oh, Yes! we were able to see “Popeye” show in Korea in the 70th. In my innocent young slender eyes Popeye was a hero, and I truly believed his strength came from eating the spinach from a can. He defeated the naughty Brutus, and saved Olive every time. I loved his steroid injected looking arm…, a symbol of power and strength of a macho man!
Nobody eats canned spinach in Korea, not even frozen ones. We use fresh spinach every time. It is all year round side dish “Banchan(반찬)” on Korean table. You will see the spinach Banchan pretty much in every Korean restaurant. All seasoned with salt, some garlic, and sesame oil… Sometimes it gets bland and boring.
I do make this spinach quite often, but I season differently, and everyone is asking what’s in it that makes taste so good. I will reveal my secret for you.
Besides you can use this in other vegetable Banchan (반찬) and soups to enhance their flavor.
I store them in the freezer.
Just toast these guys until very dry. Make sure to cool them completely afterward.
Hmmmm, shrimp flavored coffee…. Who knows? Anything is possible these days.
You will see some chunks of shrimp but it’s O.K la!
Store them in a freezer if you live in tropical paradise.
Now, let’s learn how to make the Korean spinach.
spinach, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce (I always use low-sodium), garlic (fresh or dried), and the shrimp powder.
Don’t forget to add salt!
Drain and rinse with cold water.
But not too strong. It needs to retain its moisture.
I don’t want you to choke by a foot long spinach.
Massaging motion as you toss the vegetable is an important skill to master in Korean dishes.
It is healthy, tasty, and easy.
- 1 bunch Spinach, trimmed and cleaned
- 2 Tb soy sauce (low-sodium)
- 1 small clove garlic minced or 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
- 1 Tb sesame oil
- 1 Tb roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp shrimp powder *
- Heat a pan over low heat and toast handful of dried shrimps, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
- Let them cool completely. Put them in a food processor or spice grinder, and process until finely grounded. Store in a airtight container avoiding direct sunlight or keep them in the freezer.
- Blanch spinach in the boiling water for 5 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove excess water with some force but not too strong. It has to be still moist. Slice them if they are too long.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well with a hand with massaging motion so the seasoning can soak into the spinach. Serve as a side dish.