What do you do with a whole box of baby spinach in your fridge? That, fortunately, is easy for me to answer now, you make Garlic sesame spinach. I can’t tell you how many times we were supposed to use that big tub of pre-washed spinach for a shabu shabu or a salad, but didn’t get around to it. I don’t know if you are like us, but unused vegetables are probably our worst habit. So with that, I vowed to never have unused baby spinach again. Honestly, that is how we got to this Garlic sesame spinach recipe. In addition, my kids love the Korean side dish of spinach, so I wanted to make a variation of this dish that was super easy to make.
The hard part of making the Korean version of this dish is that you have to boil, drain, and squeeze the water out of the spinach. My wife has done this many times, and there was no way I was going to be able to do this consistently, or very good. It will taste better and be more authentic if you do the boil, drain, and squeeze method, but it will probably be harder for you to get up for cooking this on a weeknight. As for me, I was out at squeezing water out of spinach.
The best solution I could come up with, as I know how to use a wok, is just to wok all that dry baby spinach with a tad bit of vegetable oil. This will do a good job of wilting the spinach without getting it too wet. Then instead of adding the usual suspects to make a Chinese spinach stir fry, I add the Korean flavoring.
Then with 10 minutes you have a great-tasting vegetable dish with not a ton of hassle. This, along with steamed and blanched broccoli, are my go-to dishes for vegetables that my family will actually eat.
Tips for cooking Garlic Sesame Spinach
- Wok hot but not too hot – You aren’t stir frying meat, so keep the heat medium to cook up your spinach. If not, your spinach will stick to the wok.
- Garlic – If you can use garlic that is fresh not the pre-minced garlic. Don’t get me wrong I use pre-minced garlic sometimes. However with this dish you don’t have a lot of sauce or meat to cover up the juice that comes with minced garlic. The pre-minced garlic will affect the taste.
- Spinach, use a lot of it – A 1lb of baby spinach will get you about 1 serving for a family. Do not be surprised how much the spinach shrinks. I buy 1 lb of baby spinach, and sort it into three different portions. I then cook 2 cloves of Garlic, sesame oil, salt, and about 5 oz of the baby spinach. I then do this 2 more times, for a total of 3 portions to cook the full amount.
There you have it, my favorite Garlic Sesame spinach recipe, that is quick and easy to make, and doesn’t fail to disappoint.
Garlic Sesame Spinach
- Wok or Non-stick pan
- 2 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp Vegetable oil
- 2 tsp Sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 5 oz Baby spinach
- Get Ingredients
- Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to your wok or non-stick pan, and heat on medium-high heat.
- Add chopped and minced Garlic to the wok. Fry until fragrant but not brown.
- Add your baby spinach (I use pre-washed spinach) to the wok.
- Add 2 tsp of sesame oil and sprinkle 1/8 tsp of kosher salt on the spinach. Mix, the spinach will wilt.
- When wilted remove from the wok to the serving plate. Add your second half of the baby spinach, along with the sesame oil and the kosher salt.
- Cook until the spinach is wilted, and move to the serving plate.