One of my constant battle in eating well is consuming enough leafy vegetables; Malaysian food is severely lacking in greens. In Vietnam, each dish comes with a huge plate of local vegetables and herbs. In Japan and Korea, where presentation of food is very important, meals are mostly accompanied with colourful vegetables.
When I came back from a short stay with my Japanese host family, I was encouraged to eat like a Japanese for breakfast. The huge traditional meal which consist of plenty of greens kept me full and energetic until late noon. Okaasan serves the same breakfast everyday: rice, miso soup, fried egg, salad with sesame sauce and pickles. Though I normally do not like salad, I found incredible joy in eating them because the lettuce and tomatoes are planted and harvested from Otoosan’s farm.
When I’m back home, I did make Japanese breakfast once in a while. But I realise that I always skip making the salad; raw vegetables from the market don’t taste the same as those harvested directly from farm. “Wakame is green right?” I lied to myself, as I ate my ‘vegetable-less’ Japanese breakfast.
So in my attempt to eat more leafy vegetables, I learned to make a simple Japanese Spinach Salad (ohitashi). It is just cooked spinach topped with dashi stock, soy sauce and bonito flakes. So easy to make, yet so tasty from umami-rich seasonings!
If you prefer cooked vegetables over raw salad, and like to eat more vegetables but lazy to cook elaborate meals, this is the recipe for you.
- Large bowl (to wash/soak spinach)
- Wok/ pot (to boil spinach)
- Sieve/ chopsticks (to remove spinach from wok)
- Mixing bowl (to wash spinach and place cold water)
- 100 g baby spinach
- 1/2 tbsp dashi stock
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dried bonito flakes