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Quick-Wilted Soy Shallot Spinach

Quick-Wilted Soy Shallot Spinach

Renée Robinson

A Quick Technique for Cooking Spinach with a Flavor Packed Topping

When glancing through a recipe online, I came across a comment from a woman in which she described a method for cooking spinach that caught my attention. Instead of quickly sautéing it over high heat, she put it in a large colander and poured boiling water over it. I couldn’t wait to try this out.

Seeing as I had a full pound of spinach, I opted to do it in two batches. I put on a pot of water to boil and the ladled it over the spinach while tossing the spinach with tongs. As you can see in the photo, the spinach turns bright green and retains that vivid color. It also keeps more of its inherent spinach-ness. What I mean is it tastes better than any spinach I’ve cooked using the quick toss in a hot skillet method.

The texture is nice and soft, but the structure of the spinach leaves remains more intact using this technique. I let it drain for a couple minutes, put it in the serving bowl and moved on to the next batch. I was very curious to see if it was going to leach liquid as it sat in the bowl while I quickly made the topping. It did not. This is mind boggling to me.

You could toss it with anything you’d like. Sautéed garlic in olive oil, or any other seasoning you fancy would work. I chose to cook some minced shallots in olive oil, then added soy sauce, a little calamansi vinegar, and black pepper. Any flavorful vinegar would work here.

Sauce for Spinach

I poured this hot mixture over the spinach, topped it with some toasted sesame seeds, and at my son’s suggestion sprinkled on toasted tiny dried shrimp. The shrimp aren’t essential, but they were great on this. Those little crunchy bits added great texture and flavor to the finished dish.

I so love learning a new technique like this. I’m sure it isn’t new to everyone, but it’s the first time I’ve encountered it and I’m never going back.

Quick-Wilted Soy Shallot Spinach

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Warm Wilted Spinach with a Cooked Topping of Shallots, Soy Sauce, and Calamansi Vinegar.

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  • 1 pound baby spinach

  • 1 large pot boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons vinegar of your choice such as calamansi, sherry, etc.

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons tiny dried shrimp, toasted in a dry skillet, optional


  • Place half the spinach in a large colander. Pour several ladles of the boiling water over the spinach, while simultaneously tossing with tongs. As soon as the spinach turns bright green it's done. Let it drain for a minute or so and remove to a serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining half fo the spinach.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until they're softened. Add the soy sauce and vinegar. It will bubble furiously. Remove from the heat and add several good grinds of the black pepper. Pour over the spinach and sprinkle on the sesame seeds and optional dried shrimp. Enjoy!

10 Responses

  1. Made it tonight. Delicious!! And pretty easy too. We ate almost all of it between the two of us!

  2. How amazing! I will have to try it. I love your blog, it is as amazing as you are. Thanks for this great recipe!

    1. I hope you give this a try, Martina. It’s so easy, but so delicious. Thank you so much!

    1. Oh, that fresh garden spinach will be delicious in this. Please let me know what you think after you’ve tried it. Thank you!

  3. Renee, I received my bottle of Calamansi vinegar yesterday morning. I made this dish yesterday evening 🙂 It was a great change of pace to my usual dish of sautéed spinach. I loved the new (to me) cooking technique and the flavors that the vinegar, soy sauce and sautéed shallots imparted to the spinach. I only wish that I had access to dried shrimp…Oh well, next time! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes, I am making this! Immediately. Popeye has nothing on this family. And the ingenius method to cook the spinach. I’m beyond excited to try it. Just look at that color!

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