Elevate Your Greens: Exquisite Japanese Spinach Salad Recipe

You’ve probably seen this Japanese spinach salad at restaurants or on restaurant menus, but did you know it can be prepared at home? This recipe, called Aona no goma-ae in Japanese, pairs well with a salty soup for a Japanese-inspired meal. While it’s a time-consuming preparation, the results are well worth the effort. It’s also one of the healthiest salads around, and it’s sure to be a healthy side dish.

Japanese Spinach Salad Recipes

Japanese Spinach Salad
Vibrant and fresh, the key ingredient to our japanese spinach salad.
Elevate Your Greens: Exquisite Japanese Spinach Salad Recipe 1

Vegan Japanese Spinach Salad

If you have been wondering about a veganalternative to enjoy your spinach, then here is a perfect recipe for you. Thepreparation has very healthy ingredients with a unique flavor.
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Course: Salad, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Japanese
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: spinach, Spinach Salad
CookingStyle: Handcrafted Cooking
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 182kcal
Author: James Anderson
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  • Position 1 ½ tablespoons of the sesame oil on a sheet and pound them with the bottom of a container or a large quart container.
  • Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the water, sesame oil, and sugar to make the dressing.
  • Contain a big pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach has crumbled.
  • To avoid the cooking time, dump the vegetables into a sieve and rinse with warm water.
  • To extract moisture from the spinach, squeeze it with your palms. Make strips out of it.
  • In 2 bowls, position the cooked vegetables.
  • Drizzle the dressing on board and garnish with the sesame seeds.



This Japanese Spinach Salad is a delicious, healthy vegetarian dish that uses the Ohitashi technique to infuse the vegetables with subtle umami flavor. The sauce is made from soy sauce, sugar, and sesame seeds. While the ingredients are not all that important for the salad, the process is important. Incorporate the sesame seeds and the green beans. You'll also want to use a sesame sauce.
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Serving: 2servings | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 775mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg

Alternative Method: Stovetop Steaming

Japanese Spinach Salad
Master the art of blanching for the perfect spinach texture.


  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach (approximately 10-12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the Spinach:
    • Wash the spinach thoroughly to remove any dirt or sand.
    • Trim the tough stems and discard any damaged leaves.
  2. Blanch the Spinach:
    • In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
    • Add the spinach and cook for about 1-2 minutes until it wilts. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Shock and Drain:
    • Immediately transfer the blanched spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This helps retain the vibrant green color.
    • Drain the spinach well and gently squeeze out excess water.
  4. Seasoning Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Dress the Spinach:
    • Place the blanched and drained spinach in a serving dish.
    • Drizzle the prepared seasoning sauce over the spinach.
  6. Mix and Garnish:
    • Gently toss the spinach with the seasoning sauce to coat it evenly.
    • If desired, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top for an extra layer of flavor and a touch of crunch.
  7. Serve:
    • Japanese Spinach Salad prepared through stovetop steaming is best enjoyed immediately while it’s fresh and vibrant. It’s a delightful side dish or appetizer for your Japanese-themed meal.

Tips for making Japanese Spinach Salad

Japanese Spinach Salad
Whisking together a symphony of flavors for your japanese spinach salad.


Serving Suggestions

Recommend Sides, Garnishes, and Beverages:

  • Miso Soup: A classic Japanese pairing, miso soup complements the refreshing flavors of the salad.
  • Sashimi: For a complete Japanese meal, serve Japanese Spinach Salad alongside sashimi slices for a contrast of textures and flavors.
  • Pickled Vegetables: The tangy notes of pickled vegetables provide a delightful contrast to the mildness of the salad.
  • Green Tea: A cup of green tea enhances the Japanese dining experience and refreshes your palate between bites.

Different Ways to Serve:

  • Bento Box: Create a Japanese-inspired bento box by placing the salad alongside rice, pickled vegetables, and a main protein.
  • Sushi Roll Filling: Japanese Spinach Salad can be used as a filling in sushi rolls for a unique twist on the classic.
  • Appetizer Cups: Serve the salad in small appetizer cups as an elegant starter at your next dinner party.

Cooking Tips

Japanese Spinach Salad.
Elegance on a plate – japanese spinach salad.

Tips for Success:

  • Blanch Quickly: When blanching the spinach, be quick to prevent overcooking and retain the vibrant green color.
  • **Ice Bath: Shocking the spinach in an ice bath is crucial to halt the cooking process and maintain the texture.
  • Squeeze Well: After blanching, ensure you squeeze out excess water from the spinach to prevent a watery salad.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Overcooking: Overcooked spinach can become mushy. Keep a close eye on the blanching process.
  • Insufficient Seasoning: Ensure that the dressing is adequately flavored, as it’s what gives life to the salad.
  • Skipping the Ice Bath: Not shocking the spinach can result in dull, overcooked leaves. Don’t skip this step.
Read  Under 10 minutes to have a perfect Macaroni and Spinach Salad

FAQs about Japanese Spinach Salad

Japanese Spinach Salad.
A harmonious pairing – miso soup and japanese spinach salad.
  • Can I use baby spinach for this salad? Yes, baby spinach can be used, but the traditional recipe uses mature spinach for its robust flavor.
  • Is there a substitute for sesame oil? If you don’t have sesame oil, you can use extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil as a replacement.
  • Can I make this salad in advance for a party? While the salad is best served fresh, you can blanch the spinach and prepare the dressing in advance. Combine them just before serving for the best results.
  • How do I store leftovers of Japanese Spinach Salad? Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, but the salad is at its best when freshly made.
  • Are there variations of this salad in Japanese cuisine?Yes, there are various regional and seasonal versions of spinach salad in Japanese cuisine, often featuring different seasonings or garnishes.

Savor Japanese Spinach Salad’s delights – a refreshing recipe to brighten your table. Share it and subscribe for more culinary inspiration.

I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.

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