Quick Spinach Ohitashi

This is one of the most typical ichiju sansai side dishes, and so easy to make! Cooked for just a minute or two, the spinach's soft texture contrasts with its sharply salty, umami-rich sauce.

Spinach ohitashi is a standard side dish that fits beautifully in the traditional ichiju sansai (i.e. one soup, three side dishes) meal format. Ohitashi comes from the verb hitasu, to dip or soak. This refers to the deliciously umami dashi broth the spinach is steeped in.

The recipe below is our quick version of ohitashi, with a stronger dashi shoyu sauce used as a dressing instead of steeping. However, if you have some time on your hands you can try the traditional steeped version. Make a milder dashi and soak the spinach in it for a couple of hours for a deep flavour infusion.

This dish is often served cold, which means it would work great in a bento. And it also keeps well, so if you make too much you can always save it for the next meal!

5 from 1 vote

Spinach with Soy Sauce and Katsuobushi

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 200 g spinach
  • dashi shoyu
  • katsuobushi to garnish
  • a pinch salt


  • 「PREP」Make the dashi shoyu and let cool.
  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, then add the spinach, stems first. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain.
    Spinach with Soy Sauce and Katsuobushi - Step1
  • Squeeze out the excess water, cut into 3-4 cm long sections, then squeeze again.
    Spinach with Soy Sauce and Katsuobushi - Step2
  • Put the spinach in 2 small bowls, garnish with katsuobushi and drizzle the dashi shoyu over it.
    Spinach with Soy Sauce and Katsuobushi - Step3
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: healthy, Quick & Easy, Vegetable

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