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 live 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.






Skill level

Average: 4.9 (10 votes)


  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and soaked in a sink or large bowl of cold water for at least 10 minutes (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp Boosted soy sauce
  • 1 tsp bonito flakes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


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.

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.


Recipe and image from The Zen Kitchen by Adam Liaw (Hachette Australia, $49.99 hbk).