1 very easy 10 min blanch Recipes - Chinese reduced sodium shami spinach

Horenso no shami-ae / spinach with dried shrimp dressing

A light spinach side dish with a Chinese twist. Make sure to soak shami — little salted dried shrimp — long enough in water to get maximum flavor for the dressing.

1/2 of recipe: 25 calories; 2.4 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 2.4 g carbohydrate; 0.4 g net carbs; 75 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 8 mg cholesterol; 2.0 g fiber


1/2 bunch (130-150 g) spinach (148 g in photo)
1 tsp oil (added to boiling water when blanching spinach; not in photo)

For shami dressing
2.5 g shami dried shrimp
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sake
3/4 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp sesame oil (not in photo)


Chop shami as necessary (not needed if each shami is small), and soak in water, ideally for hours.


Add sake to shami + water, and microwave for 5-7 seconds (until boiling) to let out alcohol.

Add soy sauce and sesame oil, and set aside.

Bring plenty of water to boil.


Meanwhile, cut spinach into 4-5 cm.


When water boils, add oil, and blanch spinach, putting stems first then leaves.

Push leaves into boiling water as necessary, and when leaves brighten, immediately transfer to colander.


Press down spinach with chopsticks or spoon to get rid of excess water, and transfer to prep bowl.

Pour shami dressing, and mix well.

Wait for a few minutes, and plate in serving bowl or individual bowls (leave excess dressing in prep bowl).


  • If you know there will be extra time before serving, use only 1/2 tsp soy sauce for the dressing, and add more if necessary based on final tasting prior to serving.
  • When time is limited, you could microwave shami with water to rehydrate. But this does not fully release shami‘s flavor and sodium, and the dressing tends to taste bland while only shami taste strong.
  • Unlike many Japanese aemono dishes where main ingredients are cooled before mixed with dressing, the blanched spinach above can be immediately mixed with dressing and served as a warm dish.
  • Shami is an ingredient whose sodium content varies significantly by brand. I use shami that contains 450 mg of sodium per 30 g.

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