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Sundays are movie nights at our home. Typically I cook a dinner inspired by the film we watch…very often the food is from the country in which the film is set. The star of the meal was this Korean Spinach Side Dish, or Sigeumchi Namul.
Movie Night -- Okja
This week I chose a film called Okja, which is a Netflix Original film. My little bit of research told me that it it was mostly set in South Korea (yay! I get to make Korean food for dinner!), and the summary of the film was: A young girl risks everything to prevent a powerful, multinational company from kidnapping her best friend -- a fascinating beast named Okja.
Little did I know that I was in for a roller coaster ride of emotions with this film. It addresses the special bond between humans and animals, corporate greed, animal cruelty, environmentalism, and animal activism. Touching and hard to watch at times, this film is amazing and thought provoking and although a tough watch at times I feel better for having seen it and have much to ponder this week. It is a powerful film, not for everyone. And may I say the young Korean actress, Ahn Seo-hyun was SUPERB in the lead role as a young farm girl who loved her Okja enough to do anything and everything she could to bring her best friend back home. The film competed for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Sigeumchi Namul Ingredients
On to the food. We had chicken bulgogi..easily cooked up with Bibigo Korean BBQ sauce. The star of the meal for me was the Sigeumchi Namul, or Korean Spinach side dish which I made. This side dish is so very easy and so very tasty. You add blanched spinach to a mixture of garlic, Korean red pepper flakes, green onion, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, and soy sauce to taste. Click on the highlighted text which will take you to Amazon where you can find some of the ingredients needed for this dish.
We were all gulping it down…even Toby loved it!
This Korean Spinach side dish is a very popular banchan in Korean cuisine. Banchan, or side dishes, are an essential part of Korean meals. They are brought out in small portions, meant to be shared, and served with rice.
Method to Make the Korean Spinach Side Dish
The method to make this couldn’t be easier! After blanching baby spinach in hot boiling water, squeeze out all the water. You will then combine all the ingredients (except for the spinach), and then gently mix in the spinach by hand.
I tend to favor spicy foods, so I’ve included quite a bit of Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru) in this recipe. If you prefer a non spicy version, simply leave out the gochugaru or reduce the amount to your taste.
Also please feel free to adjust the amount of soy sauce that you use in this recipe. I used around 1 tbsp of soy sauce, but by all means reduce this amount if too salty or add a bit more for more salty seasoning.
The Final Result Was Delicious!
I really enjoyed this Korean Spinach Side Dish! Please view the video below and remember to eat this with chopsticks! 🙂
Serve with rice, and as an accompaniment to your next fabulous Korean meal!
Other Korean Banchan You May Enjoy!
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Korean Spinach Side Dish
- 12 oz baby spinach washed
- 2 tbsp Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru) omit if you prefer non spicy or reduce the amount to your taste
- 3 green onions sliced thinly
- 1 ts roasted sesame seeds
- 2 ts sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- Heat up water to boiling in a large stock pot. Add the baby spinach once boiling and then blanch for 30 seconds. Drain, then run cold water over the spinach until the spinach is cooled.
- Combine the gochugaru, green onions, roasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic. in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Squeeze out as much water from the spinach as you can. Once the water is out, add to the other ingredients and gently mix by hand.