Korean Seasoned Spinach (Sigumchi Namul) Recipe

Korean spiced spinach
Brian Yarvin/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
Ratings (30)
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
88 Calories
3g Fat
12g Carbs
4g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Appetizers and side dishes play a key role in Korean cuisine, and this recipe has everything you need to make a particular tasty side -- seasoned spinach “salad.” Spinach was the vegetable that Popeye relied on to stay strong, and for good reason, the food is chock full of iron. With more of the nutrient than some animal proteins, spinach is one of the heartiest plant-based foods you can eat. 

The other great thing about this spinach salad is that if you don't want to serve it as a side, you can use it as part of other well-known main dishes in Korea. Seasoned spinach salad may be used to go along with chapchae (stir fried noodles), kimbap (rice and seaweed rolls), and bibimbap (rice with mixed vegetables).

Like many other Korean dishes, this side is also easily customizable. If you want to use more or less of any of the ingredients, depending on your unique tastes, feel free to do so. Those with health concerns, for example, may want to use less soy sauce (or a low-sodium version) or less sugar.


  • 1 lb. of spinach
  • 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. of sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. of sesame salt*
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. of sugar

Steps to Make It

Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds.

Remove the spinach quickly and rinse it in cold water. The easiest way to do this might be putting the spinach in a colander, turning on your kitchen faucet and then letting the water run over it.

Gently squeeze the vegetable to remove excess water. You can also try to shake the excess water from the spinach in the colander if you don't have the time or inclination to do so by hand.

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, seeds, salt, garlic and sugar, and mix all of these ingredients into the spinach. Use more or fewer of these ingredients depending on your preference or the preference of those dinner guests to which you plan to serve the salad.
* If you don't have sesame salt, you can add 1 teaspoon of salt and an additional 2 teaspoons of soy sauce)