Thursday, January 26, 2012

Steamed spinach with garlic chips

Stir fried spinach with garlic is always on a Chinese restaurant menu and we like to eat it often. Until recently, when I read in the WHFoods website that spinach needs to be boiled to help reduce its concentration of oxalic acid. However, it is recommended that it be boiled for just a minute to  minimize loss of nutrients and flavor.

In this quick and delicious recipe, I blanch the spinach and top it with fried garlic and toasted sesame seeds. For the salty touch, I add some good quality light soy sauce and finish it with a fragrant toasted sesame oil. If  you like simple and flavorful Chinese food, you will love this dish.

Steamed spinach with garlic chips

1 ½ bunches organic spinach
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach leaves a handful at a time and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a colander to drain completely.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a small saucepan – the smallest you can find, since we need to fry the garlic. If the pan is large, you will need more oil to fry. Add the garlic slices, chili flakes and salt to the oil and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes so that the garlic turns light brown and flavors the oil without being burnt.
  3. Removed the drained spinach to a serving platter and pour the garlic and the leftover oil over the spinach. Drizzle with the soy sauce and the toasted sesame oil. Finally sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 3 – 4 as a side dish

Note: I have given a link to a small saucepan - you will find it very useful if you want to cook a small amount of aromatics in very little oil, instead of using a regular saucepan. Also, great for Indian cooking, where the boiled lentils need to be tempered with spices.

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