Japanese Spinach Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing
This salad makes a great accompaniment to just about any Asian dish. It can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge, just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.
Serves 4 as a side dish
For the salad
250g bunch spinach
For the dressing
3 tbs white sesame seeds
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp mirin or sake
1 1/2 tbs soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds and nori cut into strips
Rinse the spinach very thoroughly in a large bowl of cold water then transfer it to a sieve. Bowl a kettle full of water and pour in a steady stream over the spinach so that it wilts. Set aside to cool and drain.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until slightly golden. Tip into a pestle and mortar and allow to cool.
Grind the sesame seeds with the pestle until a paste forms but keep some whole sesame seeds for a nice texture. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir.
Using your hands, squeeze the water from the spinach leaves and then roughly chop. Place in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss the salad and serve garnished with the sesame seeds and nori.