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.
- 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
- 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.
- When popping begins, quickly take the skillet off the stove and pour the seeds into a glass or earthenware bowl.
- 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.
- 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!
- Mix the sugar, soy sauce, water and crushed sesame seeds. Set this dressing aside for later.
- Meanwhile, put the 4 cups of water and the salt into a pot and bring it to a boil.
- 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.
- Have an adult drain the spinach in a colander and rinse it with cold water to stop it from cooking any more.
- When the spinach has drained, gather it up in a ball and gently squeeze most of the water out.
- Take the ball of pressed spinach and cut it into 1 inch pieces with a pair of kitchen shears.
- Put the spinach in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, mix the dressing with the spinach.
- Make little mounds of the spinach in small bowls and sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds you saved.