Healthy Steam Spinach with Asian Peanut Sauce

Healthy Steam Spinach with Asian Peanut Sauce by Dan S. @ myEasyChineseRecipes.com

Spinach with Peanut sauce
Spinach with Peanut sauce

Hands-on Time: 10 min. Total Time: 10 min.

SHORT VERSION:

Rinse spinach before using. In a large skillet/pot, add water (2 to 3C), high heat, bring to boil. Add salt (1t), spread out spinach in the skillet, cover, and turn heat to low for 30s to 1 min.

Intro:

Spinach is for sure one of my favorite green-leaf vegetables (hey, Popeye (The Cartoon character) loves it, too!) Spinach is super rich in minerals and vitamins (too many to list here), not to mention its unique taste/texture that I just love. When cooking spinach, I prefer not to use oil but jut with water. But just like many other green-leaf vegetables, spinach can turn grey after cooking, which makes spinach look less appetizing. So I did some research on this subject and come up with 2 cooking methods for spinach (steam and water stir-fry). This post is for steam spinach paired with refreshing, sour, sweet, and nutty peanut dressing. I am not going to get into too much details in this post on the theories and chemistry behind the color changing mechanism on green-leaf vegetables, but in short, 2 mechanisms contribute to the change in color for green-leaf vegetables: a.) high temperature breaks part of the chlorophyll (the compound that makes green-leaf vegetables green) and b.) water interacts with chlorophyll to replace weakly bonded Mg with Hydrogen.

TIP:

Tip.1

Add salt into water (after water boiled) before cooking vegetable to:

  1. Delay the color changing process of chlorophyll.
  2. Bring out spinach flavors (not to make spinach salty)
  3. Add salt to raise boiling point to reduce cooking time? Not Really! Salt increases the water boiling point very very slightly (20 g salt + 5 liter water only raises boiling point by 0.04 C)

Tip.2

Boiling water can interact with chlorophyll and cause green-leaf vegetables to change color quickly. So it’s a good idea to reduce cooking time and don’t immerse vegetable in the water completely. (Ideally we want lower temperature, but I think we still need to reach 70 C to 80 C to cook the vegetable. Washing vegetable, on the other hand, work best with 50 C water.)

I recommend using steam instead of immerse vegetables in boiling water. Once steam is generated, turn to low heat so the cooking temperature will slowly drop as we steam the vegetable.

Tip.3

To keep vegetable green after cooking, drizzle some oil and/or cool the vegetable down quickly to stop the cooking process.

Going the Extra Mile (G.E.M.) – the small steps to take you dish to the next level

G.E.M.1

Pair steam spinach with Asian peanut sauce for refreshing taste.

Cookware:

  1. Pot/skillet (wide opening preferred)
  2. Measuring spoons

Ingredients

Ingredients
Ingredients

Vegetable:

  1. Spinach (1 bunch, or ~ 170g)

Sauce/condiments/Spices

Units: t = teaspoon, T = tablespoon.

*note* Below is for Asian Peanut Sauce. The relative ratio is more important the absolute amount.

  1. (G.E.M.1) Soy Sauce – 2T
  2. (G.E.M.1) Vinegar – 2 T
  3. (G.E.M.1) Sugar -1 T
  4. (G.E.M.1) Peanut Butter (any kind)– 1 T

Before Cooking:

Prep.1

Rinse spinach with water to remove dirt (particular near the root). Simply cut the root portion (~ 1”) off if there are too much dirt.

Prep.2

Mix all the ingredients in the Sauce section for dressing.

Cooking Steps:

Cooking.1

In a skillet/pot, add water (~ 3C or 1 to 2” deep). Turn heat on high, bring water to boil.

Cooking.2Cooking Process

Cooking Process

Add salt (1t); add spinach into the pot/skill. Distribute spinach evenly across the pot/skillet to maximize surface contact area between spinach and water. Cover the pot with a lid, turn heat to low for 30 to 60s (depending on your preferred spinach texture).

See Tip & Intro sections for more explanations.

G.E.M.1

P1040911

Drizzle the peanut sauce over the steamed spinach.

It’s ready to serve!

 

Healthy Steam Spinach with Asian Peanut Sauce
Quick and Easy Recipes for steamed spinach and delicious peanut sauce
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese/Asian/Taiwanese
Recipe type: Steam Vegetable Recipes
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1.Spinach - 1 bunch
  • 2.Soy Sauce - 2T
  • 3.Vinegar – 2 T
  • 4.Sugar -1 T
  • 5.Peanut Butter (any kind)– 1 T
Instructions
  1. Rinse spinach with water to remove dirt (particular near the root). Simple cut the root portion (~ 1”) off if too much dirt.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in the Sauce section for Peanut Sauce.
  3. In a skillet/pot, add water (~ 3C or 1 to 2” deep). Turn heat on high, bring water to boil.
  4. Add salt (1t); add spinach into the pot/skill. Distribute spinach evenly across the pot/skillet to maximize surface contact area between spinach and water. 5. Cover the pot with a lid, turn heat to low for 30 to 60s (depending on your preferred texture).
Notes
1. Add salt into water (after water boiled) before cooking vegetable.
2. Reduce cooking time and use steam instead of immerse vegetable in the water completely.

 

If you love Asian or Chinese food, I have created (still creating) authentic and easy Chinese recipes here on my food blog – myeasychineserecipes.com. Some of my favorite dishes are Sweet and Sour Pork, Teriyaki ChickenBraised Beef ShankFried Shrimp with eggsKung-Pao Chicken, and so much more.

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