Spatulatta: Cooking 4 Kids Online

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Gomae-Spinach Salad Print E-mail

The Japanese use sugar as a condiment and it turns up here in this tasty spinach appetizer. It's an interesting way to introduce kids hooked on sweets to the merits of spinach.

You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 bag of pre-washed spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A little adult help


  • A small heavy bottomed skillet
  • A colander
  • A coffee grinder, small food processor or mortar and pestle
  • Kitchen shears
  1. Put the sesame seeds in a dry skillet (with no oil) over medium heat. Shake the pan to let the sesame seeds get heated on all sides. They'll begin to turn golden brown.
  2. When popping begins, quickly take the skillet off the stove and pour the seeds into a glass or earthenware bowl.
  3. Measure out 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds and set them aside for garnish. You'll sprinkle them on top of the gomae just before serving.
  4. While the rest of the sesame seeds are still hot, you need to grind them up. You can use a clean coffee grinder, a small food processor or put them in a mortar and crush them with a pestle. We tried just crushing them with a spoon and it took forever!
  5. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, water and crushed sesame seeds. Set this dressing aside for later.
  6. Meanwhile, put the 4 cups of water and the salt into a pot and bring it to a boil.
  7. As soon as the water starts boiling, ask your adult helper to put in the spinach. Boil for 1 minute or so until the spinach wilts.
  8. Have an adult drain the spinach in a colander and rinse it with cold water to stop it from cooking any more.
  9. When the spinach has drained, gather it up in a ball and gently squeeze most of the water out.
  10. Take the ball of pressed spinach and cut it into 1 inch pieces with a pair of kitchen shears.
  11. Put the spinach in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  12. Just before serving, mix the dressing with the spinach.
  13. Make little mounds of the spinach in small bowls and sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds you saved.