Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sesame Spinach With Oyster Sauce
This dish is actually my re-take on the cold Korean Spinach side dish. The original Korean version uses soy sauce. I added oyster sauce for more flavor. I omitted the hot chillie peppers as I want to serve this as a vegetable dish and not as an appetizer.
Though my family loves vegetables, we seldom eat spinach. We know spinach should be a super veggie because of Popeye's endorsement but we did not enjoy this vegetable because it tastes dry when cooked using the stir-fry version. It tastes bland when steamed. And it most definitely does not taste good when added to soups! This was before I discovered this Korean version and found out that this vegetable needs a lot of oil for it to taste better.
Using a lot of sesame oil is good for the health. Sesame oil, which is extracted from sesame seeds is a source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, which means it helps lower cholesterol. Sesame oil contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B6. Copper provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis. Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health. Calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraine and PMS. Zinc promotes bone health. Sesame oil also contains a lot of polyunsaturated fats - which is a very good kind of fat. (source:wikipedia).
After giving birth, most Chinese women are given dishes cooked with sesame oil as it is believed that sesame oil contains therapeutic powers, for the mothers to regain their strength after childbirth. Sesame Oil is believed to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory agent. For more information about sesame oil and it's health benefits, please click here and here.
350 gms young spinach, washed
1/4 C sesame oil
5 T garlic, minced
2 T soy sauce
2 T oyster sauce
dash of ground pepper
sesame seeds, optional
1. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for a few seconds, just before it starts to wilt. Drain in a colander. Immediately dunk the drained spinach in cold water. Drain very well. Cut into bite sized pieces if preferred, set aside.
2. Heat a little portion of the sesame oil in a wok or skillet. Add the minced garlic. Stir fry until just fragrant. Do not let garlic burn or it will turn bitter.
3. Add the soy sauce and the oyster sauce. Immediately add the spinach and turn off the heat. Mix everything well, letting the sauces coat the spinach leaves thoroughly. Add the rest of the sasame oil. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Mix well before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
The featured Sesame Oil (and sesame seeds) is my first entry to the Weekend Herb Blogging event. Aside from being a healthy food, it also perks up the flavor of a lot of dishes. Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly event started and sponsored by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This week, the event is hosted by Anh of Food Lover's Journey.