Quick Soy Steeped Spinach: The Zen Kitchen – Adam Liaw

zen-kitchen

The Zen Kitchen by Adam Liaw is published by Hachette Australia, $49.99

QUICK SOY-STEEPED SPINACH

ほうれん草のおひたし

IF THERE IS A SINGLE DISH FROM THIS BOOK THAT MAKES THE MOST REGULAR APPEARANCE

ON OUR DINING TABLE, IT’S THIS ONE. WE WILL OFTEN COOK A BUNCH OF SPINACH EARLY IN

THE WEEK AND JUST LEAVE IT IN THE FRIDGE. WE HAVE BOOSTED SOY SAUCE ALWAYS TO HAND

AND THE BONITO FLAKES LIV E IN THE PANTRY. FROM THAT STARTING POINT, IF WE NEED AN

EXTRA DISH FOR THE TABLE, THIS CAN BE READY IN LESS THAN A MINUTE.

SMALL DISH PREPARATION TIME 5 MINS COOKING TIME 5 MINS

 

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch spinach, washed and soaked in a sink or large bowl of cold water for at least 10 minutes

1 tbsp Boosted Soy Sauce (page 28)

1 tsp bonito flakes

 

METHOD

1 Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Place the

root and stems of the spinach into the water and hold for about

10 seconds. Then, using a pair of chopsticks, push the leaves

under water and cook for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold

water. You can keep the spinach whole in the fridge, soaking in a

bowl of cold water, for up to a week.

 

2 When ready to eat, remove the spinach from the water and

squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Cut off and discard the

roots, and trim the stalks and leaves into 5cm pieces. Stack the

pieces in a bowl, pour over a little Boosted Soy Sauce and scatter

with bonito flakes.

 

Soaking the spinach in cold water before cooking allows it to refresh

and open up, like a bunch of flowers might, allowing any dirt between

the stalks to wash out into the water.

 

BOOSTED SOY SAUCE

うま味醤油

I USE THIS SOY SAUCE IN PLACE OF NORMAL LIGHT SOY SAUCE FOR ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

IT’S LIGHTER AND LESS SALTY, BUT HAS A RICHER AND MORE BALANCED FLAVOUR.

MAKES ABOUT 750ML PREPARATION TIME 5 MINS COOKING TIME 10 MINS, PLUS 1 HOUR STANDING

 

INGREDIENTS

150ml sake

100ml mirin

1 tsp caster sugar

500ml light soy sauce

4 dried shiitake mushrooms

Handful of large bonito flakes (about 5g)

 

METHOD

1 Place the sake, mirin and sugar in a medium saucepan and

bring to a simmer. Flambé with a blowtorch, match or lighter and

allow to burn until burned out. Add the soy sauce and mushrooms

and bring back to a simmer. Add the bonito flakes and turn off

the heat. Allow the sauce to stand for 1 hour, then drain through a

muslin-lined sieve. Store the sauce in an old clean wine bottle or

soy sauce bottle in the pantry.

 

Like most umami-rich foods, this boosted soy sauce improves with

age. I usually make a triple or quadruple batch and keep it in a big

sealed jar in the pantry. When stocks are getting a little low, I just

make a new batch and top it up. It will keep indefinitely.

 

soy-steeped-spinach

 

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One thought on “Quick Soy Steeped Spinach: The Zen Kitchen – Adam Liaw

  1. What an interesting way to put spinach together, Carol. And I like having something available, right there, when you need to add another dish, or just want some – no fuss, no bother. I’m already sensing this focus on ease of preparation and simple ingredients. Yet they turn out so nicely!

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