Spinach side dish

Sigeumchi-namul 시금치나물

Sigeumchi-namul is a Korean side dish (banchan) made of blanched spinach seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. The spinach is only slightly cooked, leaving it a little crispy, but still soft and tasty. Because it’s so easy to make and so delicious, it’s a very popular and common side dish among Koreans. For many Koreans an easy, simple everyday meal consists of rice, kimchi, a stew (often doenjang-jjigae), kongnamul-muchim (a bean sprout side dish), and sigeumchi-namul.

It’s on our everyday table and also served at special occasions, family gatherings, BBQ parties—basically anywhere Koreans are gathering with food, sigeumchi-namul is there and among the most popular dishes, often paired with kongnamul-muchim, another favorite.


In this recipe you can replace spinach with bok choy or arugula or experiment with something new if you want. I had a potluck party with my readers a few years ago, and one of them brought his own sigeumchi-namul made with an ingredient I couldn’t recognize. I asked him and he told me it was tender kale! Blanched and prepared like sigeumchi-namul, it was so delicious!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and the remade HD video. Let me know if you make it. If you try your own experiments, let me know in the comments!spinach


  • 8 ounces spinach, cleaned and washed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • silgochu (Korean dried shredded red pepper), optional



  1. Boil 8 to 10 cups of water in a large pot.
  2. Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds to 1 minute with lid off, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Strain the spinach and rinse in cold water a couple of times to remove any residual dirt.
  4. Squeeze out excess water and cut a few times into bite size pieces.Korean sigeumchi namul (시금치 나물: spinach side dish)
  5. Mix the spinach with garlic, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl by hand.Korean sigeumchi namul (시금치 나물: spinach side dish)
  6. Transfer to a bowl or plate and garnish with silgochu, if used.
  7. Serve with rice.

Spinach side dish (sigeumchi-namul)



  1. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
    Posted February 6th, 2017 at 8:50 pm | # |

    I made this for the first time tonight and it’s absolutely delicious. I can definitely see why it’s so popular. Of course, I doubled up on the sesame seeds because I think TOASTED sesame seeds are the best thing since sliced bred. :-)

  2. julisensei Toronto, Ontario, Canada joined 2/09
    Posted November 22nd, 2015 at 9:08 am | # |

    Can I use watercress instead of spinach? Would any of the seasoning need tobbe changed?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 25th, 2015 at 12:10 pm | # |

      Yes, watercress can be good substitute for spinach in this recipe.

  3. sereneczb Singapore joined 2/10
    Posted October 20th, 2011 at 9:15 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    This is lovely! I am thinking of cooking this dish at night, keep in the fridge overnight. Then the next morning, bring out of the fridge and put it in a thermo flask and bring to work to eat for lunch. Will the dish turn bad? Do u advise I warm it up in the microwave before putting it in the thermo flask as I have rice at a serparate lower level in the thermo flask, my worry is that the heat from the rice might spoil the cold spinach although the rice and spinach is put in separate container. P.S. my thermo flask have 3 containers for rice/ vege / meat/ soup and to be stack neatly into the thermo flask. How bout the other side dish, can it be kept overnight in the fridge? It will be great if most side dish can be kept overnight so I dont have to wake up that early to cook and rush out for work. sorry for the lengthy post ~

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 21st, 2011 at 4:18 pm | # |

      yes, it will be ok to keep it in the fridge overnight and eat it for lunch next day.

  4. DanYHKim Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA joined 5/17
    Posted June 8th, 2017 at 7:04 pm | # |

    I tried this with beet greens, and they were really good.
    Next, I might try using sweet potato leaves, since my sweet potato plants are not giving me tubers.

  5. DanYHKim Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA joined 5/17
    Posted May 12th, 2017 at 11:30 am | # |

    I just made these using beet greens, and they worked out well.

  6. duday76 USA joined 12/16
    Posted January 11th, 2017 at 11:58 pm | # |

    I love this! Thank you Maangchi! Very simple to make and yet bursting with flavors.

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 19th, 2017 at 10:13 am | # |

      Yes, bursting with flavors, that’s right! : )

  7. Masschan London, UK joined 7/16
    Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 8:32 am | # |

    Thank you Maangchi, this is one of my favourite banchan. I have low iron so this dish is very important to me!

    See full size image

  8. Ladybaker82 Greensboro NC joined 4/16
    Posted April 24th, 2016 at 5:28 pm | # |

    Hello Mangchi, would this side dish go well with pork belly?

  9. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
    Posted August 8th, 2015 at 2:53 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi!

    I got a question for u. I always make different namul during the week. Sometimes when i only got bits of leftover meat dish and my various namul, i just throw them all in a big bowl of rice, mixed them all up+gyeran jang jorim and some sesame oil (since most of my meat dishes usually eaten by my son got gochujang in it) and sometimes i also add dried doljaban i bought from the store. Is this ok?

    Whenever my mom saw me eat my bibimbap of leftovers, she always shake her head and ask how is it that I’m not as fat as a pig ready for slaughter. I feel bad if i have to throw away those bits of food. Most of my leftover meat are 2-3 days old and my namul i are just a 12hrs old max. It’s just sometimes when my son finished all the rice for the day, i ended up being too lazy to cook more rice for dinner and most of the time ended up munching on those namul without rice. So the following day when i cook fresh rice, i cook enough for my bibimbap that i usually eat for my lunch. I work at home.

    Please enlighten the ignorant me. Thanks,


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 8th, 2015 at 5:39 pm | # |

      Ima, you are not alone, this is exactly what I do, make bibimbap with my leftovers! I’m actually very happy to hear that you figured this out by yourself, like a real Korean!

  10. coleen singapore joined 2/15
    Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 5:31 am | # |

    I am a student. now i m doing assignment on simple yet healthy recipe. Can i use this recipe? Don’t worry. It is not open to public.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 10:34 am | # |

      yes, you can use my recipe either in public or private but be sure to link to the recipe on my website so that your audience will learn the recipe.

  11. Richfoodist Los Gatos, CA, US joined 10/13
    Posted October 28th, 2013 at 1:27 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    What is the best type of spinach to use for this recipe? I noticed the prepared side dishes that we get from the Korean Market or restaurants in Sunnyvale (nearby “Korea town”) the spinach seems to be a unique variety. It looks like it has small unopened flowers, and is attached to a stalk (and the stalk itself is pretty tender). In fact the market labels it “seasoned edible” so I am not even sure if it is actually spinach. I tried making this dish with organic baby spinach but it definitely was not the same.

    This is one of our favorite banchan and its so easy to make, I would like to try growing the veggie in our backyard garden this winter. It seems like it has such a mild flavor that it would probably be good in smoothies too.

    Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 29th, 2013 at 6:33 pm | # |

      Hi Rich,
      Your question reminded me of some red root spinach that I used 1 year ago. I found it on my Facebook page. Check it out. My answer about spinach is there. https://www.maangchi.com/photo/heirloom-spinach And “It looks like it has small unopened flowers” I’m not sure what it is.

  12. Andrew East Texas joined 3/13
    Posted March 24th, 2013 at 8:10 pm | # |

    This recipe worked perfectly with Swiss chard. I removed the stems and blanched them for 30 seconds more than the leaves, and I blanched the leaves for almost 1 minute.

  13. AkiToMH Australia joined 11/12
    Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 3:31 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi ! I like your recipes, have tried out a few, about this dish. Can it be serve hot?

    • korea4me South Korea joined 10/09
      Posted December 2nd, 2012 at 4:21 am | # |

      I’ve eaten it hot by sticking it into the microwave for a few seconds. Hope that helps.

  14. lilminh080 Canada joined 9/12
    Posted September 26th, 2012 at 10:55 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi

    It’s yummy…Can I keep this in the fridge to eat through a week? Thank you.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 29th, 2012 at 10:27 am | # |

      I think a few days in the fridge is ok but 1 week is too long.

  15. Sherry Malaysia joined 2/12
    Posted February 18th, 2012 at 9:48 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi
    This dish is fantastically delicious and healthy!
    I just made it and love it so much. it is very suitable for diet.

  16. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10
    Posted August 18th, 2011 at 8:15 am | # |

    I can’t wait, to make this with delicious Ssukgat, I bought today :D
    Thank you really much :)

  17. babyvsa malaysia joined 7/11
    Posted July 12th, 2011 at 9:21 am | # |

    unnie^^ tetanigamsahamnida..^^
    i am a malaysian college student…
    and i am looking for this recipe for long time ago since the 1st time i had this as my side dishes!!!
    i made it today and it turns out quite well^^

    thank you so much^^~!!
    it is also good for my diet plan too^^ ~kkkkkk

  18. Moonhae joined 3/11
    Posted March 7th, 2011 at 9:13 am | # |

    Onni ~ I really love all your recipes! Yesterday I made sigeumchi namul and it turnt out very well! ^ ^ thank you

  19. ieuNate Love Brisbane joined 7/10
    Posted September 23rd, 2010 at 9:17 am | # |

    Thank you Maangchi. My husband love this dish so much, he said one bunch of spinach is not enough. He wanted me to make five bunches, next time. lol :)
    You are so lovely and so are your recipes :)) ❤ ♨ ❀

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 24th, 2010 at 10:47 am | # |

      haha, one bunch is not enough, yes, I agree! ❤

  20. happyj-girl Colorado Springs, CO joined 8/10
    Posted August 1st, 2010 at 11:41 pm | # |

    Thanks so much for this recipe! It turned out perfect!! We loved having it along with the bean sprout side dish and some barbecued chicken!! I love having another way to use fresh spinach. Yum!

  21. Brian_Montoya Colorado Springs,Colorado joined 12/09
    Posted July 13th, 2010 at 4:09 pm | # |

    I really like your version of shigeumchi namul its so flavor full! but i prefer to sautee thegarlic first so its not so garlicky.

    Oh and love the song, amy winehouse is one of my favorites!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 2nd, 2010 at 5:09 pm | # |

      Amy Winehouse is cool! : )

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