Spinach ohitashi is a traditional Japanese dish that showcases fresh spinach leaves blanched to perfection and seasoned with a savory dashi-based sauce. The spinach is briefly boiled and then immediately cooled in ice water to retain its vibrant green colour and crisp texture. This flavorful and nutrient-rich side dish is a staple in Japanese cuisine, known for its delicate taste and healthful properties.
- First make the dashi marinade by combining dashi, soy sauce and mirin in a small saucepan and briefly boiling it for 1-2 minutes. Pour the hot stock into a separate bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Thoroughly wash the spinach and shake off excess water.
- Heat a large saucepan of water on high, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Set the bowl of ice water next to it.
- Using long tongs, hold the spinach bunch by the leaves and hold the stems in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then submerge the leaves in the water too, boil for another 30 seconds and transfer to the icebath to stop the cooking process.
- Squeeze as much excess water from the spinach as you can then transfer the spinach to a container and pour over the cooled dashi marinade.
- Allow the spinach to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Once marinated, cut the spinach into 5cm lengths and stack them in a neat pile.
- Drizzle over dashi stock and sprinkle with bonito flakes.