Spinach Side Dish (Siguemchi Namul)

This seasoned spinach is one of the most common side dishes found in Korean households, and it is super healthy! It is 100% vegan, seasoned with sea salt, pepper, sesame oil, garlic, and crushed sesame seeds. 

Every household makes their siguemchi namul a little different. My recipe has all the of the traditional ingredients, but sometimes I like to add a tiny bit of sugar and some fermented soy bean paste for extra umami. I can eat this dish all by itself, it is so delicious!


  • Spinach- if it’s available, I highly recommend using Korean spinach. The leaves are thicker and taste better than American spinach. My mom has also made this with Taiwainese spinach and I LOVED how thick the stems were!

  • Sea salt– kosher salt works too (technically it’s sea salt), but try to avoid table salt here.

  • Pepper- black or white, whichever you prefer.

  • Sesame oil- there is no substitute for this ingredient! You really need toasted sesame oil for this dish.
  • Sesame seeds- make sure it’s toasted (or roasted) and here’s a pro tip: grind the sesame seeds using a mortar and pestle until about half have turned into a powder. This adds a lot more flavor to the spinach!

This recipe can also be used to prepare spinach for bibimbap, kimbap, and japchae. There usually aren’t any leftovers, but if there are, these are the dishes I tend to repurpose the spinach for.

Siguemchi namul is SUPER easy to prepare, requiring less than 30 seconds of cooking. That’s right, all you have to do is blanch the spinach in boiling water for 20 seconds! Everything else is prep work that shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes. 

Tips to make this recipe in 5 minutes or less:

  • Boil your water first. It will take a few minutes to start boiling, and during this time you can measure out the seasoning ingredients and prepare the garlic and green onion.

  • Prepare an ice bath during this time as well. You want to have it ready and immediately shock the spinach after blanching.

More side dish recipes

If you like this recipe, try some of my other banchan recipes on the blog! 

Spinach Side Dish (Siguemchi Namul)

Quick and healthy seasoned spinach side dish
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 1 lb spinach
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tsp crushed sesame seeds


  • Wash your spinach thoroughly and cut off the ends (if any)
  • Prepare an ice bath and set it aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach for about 20 seconds until it becomes wilted.
  • Immediately put the spinach into the ice bath to stop it from cooking further.
  • Gently squeeze out the water and form a ball
  • Make 1 or 2 cuts into the spinach ball
  • Separate the spinach leaves into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Gently mix until combined.
  • Eat right away or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.


This will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. marty

    5 stars
    my gf loves korean food. will try this

  2. Andiedoes

    5 stars
    This was the perfect recipe for the leftover spinach I had! That extra umami flavor from the fermented soybean paste was key. Thank you, Stella! So good!

  3. foodie_net

    5 stars
    love this recipe for meal preps <3

  4. Noreen

    5 stars
    love this. Simple and easy to make for my meal preps. Thanks Stella! <3

  5. Kiaralizx3

    5 stars
    OKAY, so I wanted to start off by saying THANK YOU STELLA for the past 4 years of phenomenal Korean/Mexican dishes. I’m not much for following content creators, but she is so authentic and transparent and HUMBLE. This was one of the second recipes I ever learned to make from her banchan series back in 2020 when I first discovered her. I’ve been a fan ever since and have tried so many of her recipes they never fail. This is my GO TO recipe when it comes to eating Korean food and making banchan. I love it because it’s so simple and straightforward with minimal ingredients and yet it’s a fantastic addition to any meal.

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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