Spinach Salad. I used to eat this at a restaurant in Brattleboro Vermont called the Shin La. It was a Korean owned place that had started as a sub shop, with only a couple of Korean items on the menu. These few items were met with such enthusiasm, that pretty quickly the owners abandoned subs and went whole hog.
When we newbs in Vermont first had this it was a revelation! Figuring out how to make it was a total “um.. duh!” moment.
Here’s how: Steam some spinach. Dress with toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
More long winded: Steaming spinach is easy. Rinse the stuff in a colander, whether it needs it or not. Let it drain, and then dump the whole thing into a big pot. Don’t add any water! Whatever is clinging to the leaves is perfect (that’s why you rinse it even if it’s prewashed!! Get it?). Turn on the heat, and cook uncovered so you can keep an eye on it. Turn with tongs or hands as needed. It will shrink massively. Once it has all turned darker green pull it out and dunk it in an ice bath. You can rinse it in cold water if you’re too lazy for an ice bath, but it’ll be much yummier if you shock it (ice bath is easy too.. you’ll never go back. Big bowl of water. Now crack a tray or two of ice cubes in. Tada!). Once it’s properly cooled, pull it out and squeeze as much water out as you can. Break up the spinach ball you’ve made and dress in a bowl (roughly equal parts oil and soy). Top with toasted sesame seeds. You can add some diced scallions too if you like.
Try it. It’s one of those great dishes that is MUCH more than the sum of its parts.
More to come. Now that I don’t have cancer, I think I might make this a cooking blog.