Sigumchi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach)

Sigumchi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach) Recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 6 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
82 Calories
5g Fat
8g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2104mg 91%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 180mg 14%
Iron 4mg 25%
Potassium 579mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(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 sigumchi namul (seasoned spinach) has everything you need to make a particular tasty side. To make this popular Korean side dish (banchan), fresh spinach is blanched and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sesame salt/gomasio, and garlic with a touch of sugar. It is also part of other well-known main dishes in Korea, such as bibimbap (rice with mixed vegetables), chap chae (stir-fried noodles), and kimbap (rice and seaweed rolls).

This Korean spinach dish side is easily customizable. If you want to use more or less of any of the ingredients, depending on your tastes, feel free to do so. Those with specific health concerns, for example, may want to use less soy sauce (or use a low-sodium version) or less sugar. But you can feel good about a dish such as sigumchi namul, because spinach is one of the best plant-based foods you can eat. It's chock-full of iron.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh spinach

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • 1 tablespoon gomasio (sesame salt)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sigumchi namul (Korean seasoned spinach) ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds.

    Blanch the spinach in boiling water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Quickly remove the spinach to a colander and rinse it under cold water.

    Spinach in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Gently squeeze the spinach to remove excess water and transfer to a serving bowl.

    Excess water removed from spinach and transferred to a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sesame salt, garlic, and sugar. Mix well.

    soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sesame salt, garlic, and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pour the dressing over the spinach and toss gently. Serve and enjoy.

    Sigumchi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach)

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • If you can't find gomasio, use 1 tablespoon of slightly crushed toasted sesame seeds—both white and black if possible—along with about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, or to taste.
  • Instead of blanching the spinach in boiling water you can steam it in a small amount of water. Add about 2 inches of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add a steamer insert or colander and then add the spinach leaves. Cover the pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Remove the spinach and rinse it with cold water.
  • Another way to cook the spinach is in a large sauté pan or wok. Rinse the spinach and drain, leaving some water clinging to the leaves. Place the pan over medium heat and add the spinach, a little at a time. Toss with tongs until it is all wilted. Remove the spinach to a colander and rinse with cold water.

Recipe Variations

  • For spicier version, add 2 to 4 teaspoons of gochujang to the sauce mixture.
  • Add 2 finely chopped scallions to the sauce mixture.

What is Gomasio?

Gomasio is Japanese salt condiment made with unhulled toasted sesame seeds and salt.