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.

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

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Directions

  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)

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90 Comments:

  1. Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12
    Posted October 18th, 2017 at 3:20 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Can I use baby spinach for this recipe, just the leaves? I just bought a big bag of spinach. :D

    • tomdolan US joined 10/17
      Posted October 21st, 2017 at 3:47 pm | # |

      I’ve made it with baby spinach and with regular spinach. You can do both but the adult spinach is better, in my opinion. The baby spinach is soft and you just end up with slimy wads in each bite, whereas the adult is firmer and has the stems, which create a very nice texture for this recipe. But if you only have baby spinach on hand, I wouldn’t let that deter you from making this, especially if you are planning on adding it to kimbap or something like that.

      • Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12
        Posted November 2nd, 2017 at 10:18 pm | # |

        Hi tomdolan, thank you for your advice. I had a huge 5 pound that I recently bought so I was hoping to use what I had so it would not go to waste. I will try to make it with the adult spinach next time and compare the difference. Thank you so much!

  2. 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.

    • DanYHKim Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA joined 5/17
      Posted August 10th, 2017 at 12:23 am | # |

      OK, I cut sweet potato leaves in the morning, and processed them like spinach. Sweet potatoes are related to morning glory plants, and the vines have a fair amount of latex in them, but the leaves don’t have as much.

      The resulting dish looks similar to the sigeumchi-namul with spinach, but the texture is a bit . . . mushy. There is a kind of slimy component to the leaves. I cannot recommend it.

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