Spinach side dish

Sigeumchi-namul 시금치나물

Sigeumchi-namul is a Korean side dish (banchan) made of blanched spinach seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and toasted 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




  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, toasted 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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  1. DanYHKim Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

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

  2. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    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. :-)

  3. duday76 USA joined 12/16 & has 9 comments

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

    See full size image

  4. Masschan London, UK joined 7/16 & has 5 comments

    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

  5. Ladybaker82 Greensboro NC joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

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

  6. julisensei Toronto, Ontario, Canada joined 2/09 & has 3 comments

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

  7. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 82 comments

    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,


  8. coleen singapore joined 2/15 & has 1 comment

    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.

  9. Richfoodist Los Gatos, CA, US joined 10/13 & has 1 comment

    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 & has 12,049 comments

      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.

    • Coriander Central NJ joined 12/18 & has 7 comments

      I know this is an old comment, but this sounds like a Chinese vegetable that I see in the Korean market near me. It is sold as “Yu Choy” and it has tender leaves, fat succulent stems, and tiny flowerbuds. Sometimes one or two buds has opened to show a yellow flower with 4 petals, like a rocket or cress flower. So I think it is more related to broccoli than to spinach, but its leaves cook up like spinach, so it is probably perfect for this dish.

  10. Andrew East Texas joined 3/13 & has 1 comment

    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.

  11. AkiToMH Australia joined 11/12 & has 2 comments

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

  12. lilminh080 Canada joined 9/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi, Maangchi

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

  13. Sherry Malaysia joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

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

  14. sereneczb Singapore joined 2/10 & has 2 comments

    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 ~

  15. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 34 comments

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

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