Sigeumchi-namul 시금치나물 ready in under 10 minutes, vegan and gluten-free!
Easy Korean Spinach Salad – Sigeumchi namul (시금치나물) is an easy quick Korean side salad made with fresh spinach. It is on the table almost every day in many Korean families. It is also served on special occasions, family celebrations and barbecues. Koreans gather just like we like to gather to eat and then have sigeumchi-namul and some other bits and pieces to accompany the actual meal.
When you go to Korean restaurants, there are a variety of banchans to go with the actual food. Banchans are a variety of small side dishes that are served with main dishes or rice in Korean cuisine. If you’ve never been to a Korean restaurant and eaten before, I highly recommend going there to taste the different types of side dishes!
Meaning & Korean for Beginners
Sigeumchi namul 시금치나물 is a simple Korean side dish (banchan, 반찬) made with spinach. Namul is the general term referring to a spiced vegetable dish. The word sigeumchi means spinach in Korean. In Korea, there are many types of vegetables that are used to make namul dishes. Spinach is one of the most common. It is usually served as part of the tricolor vegetable dishes, samsaek namul, on traditional holidays. Sigeumchi namul, our easy Korean spinach salad, is also very common in bibimbap.
Variations of simple Korean spinach salad
In this recipe you can also replace the spinach with pak choy or rocket. If you like, you can also try our recipe with tender blanched kale, simply delicious!
Cooking times of vegetables vary, so when making namul dishes using green leafy vegetables, it is usually necessary to blanch the vegetables and squeeze out the excess water. Then the spices follow along with some basic ingredients. Once you master these simple techniques, you can make your own Namul dishes with many other different veggies! Try it with Chinese cabbage, watercress, snow pea tops…
For a little more umami flavor, you can also season the spinach with Guk Ganjang 국 간장 (Korean soup soy sauce) instead of salt. Guk ganjang is a traditional soy sauce made as a by-product of making doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste). While it is known as a soy sauce for soups, it is also common in local cuisine to be used in namul dishes.
Another ingredient that is great for sigeumchi namul is gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste). Gochujang gives a lot of flavor and a little savory kick!
Ingredients for Korean Spinach Salad
A list of ingredients for a recipe couldn’t be simpler. You probably already have these ingredients in your kitchen, except for the spinach (which we get fresh anyway).
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
How is Easy Korean Spinach Salad made?
Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and sesame in a bowl. The spinach is quickly blanched for about 30 seconds. If using the spinach with stalks, this may also take up to 1 minute so the stalks are cooked as well. Quickly chill the spinach with ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the excess water and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with the sauce and serve!
if you like our easy Korean Spinach Salad, you might also love these recipes:
- Quranic style kale
- Soba noodle salad with peanut dressing
- Wholemeal wrap with peanut sauce and crispy tofu
- Fall salad with quinoa and seasonal vegetables
- Potato salad with coriander pesto
- sweet potato bowl
- more salad recipes…
simple Korean spinach salad - vegan and gluten-free
Spicy and Spicy:
- 1-3 tsp gochuyang* Korean Red Chili Pepper Paste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- In the meantime sort the spinach and clean but do not wash.
- Boil the water, blanch the unwashed spinach for 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on the size of your spinach). Stir gently from time to time.
- Water the spinach and rinse it a few times with cold water to cool it and remove any dirt residue.
- Form a ball out of the spinach and squeeze out the excess water. Now roughly cut two or three times.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Cut the scallions into fine rings.
- In a bowl, hand mix the spinach with the garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
- If you prefer it spicier, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of gochujang 고추장 (Korean red chili pepper paste), depending on your taste.
- Now arrange the spinach salad in small bowls or on plates and optionally garnish with chilli threads.
- Serve with rice.