Japanese Spinach Salad (Ohitashi) – 4 ingredients + 5 min

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.

Otoosan, my Japanese host father, tend to his vegetable farm every morning
I only enjoy eating raw vegetables from the 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)
  • Spoon


  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp dashi stock
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried bonito flakes


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