Spinach with Black Sesame
I love this dish because the color contrast is beautiful and the flavors blend so well together.
- In large pot, bring water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add spinach to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then remove and shock in ice bath. When spinach is cool, wring out excess liquid. Keep the bunches together.
- Take the blanched spinach bunches and lay them out flat. Remove any of the bottom root ends if they are still attached (leave most of the stems). Then cut the bunches horizonally at the point where the stem ends and the leaves start. Separate into 2 bowls, one for stems and one for leaves. Fluff each up with your hands.
- For the sauce, combine the sesame paste, soy sauce and mirin in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Slowly add dashi while mixing until the combination reaches the desired texture. Use less dashi for a thicker sauce, more for a thinner sauce.
- To serve, divide the spinach stems into 4 piles on 4 plates, making a small nest. Top with the spinach leaves, giving a little height. Pour sauce directly over top and garnish with black sesame seeds.