Spinach Ashitashi

For starter or appetizer, Kazuko prepared a cold spinach dish called Spinach Ashitashi.


You can garnish the Spinach Ashitashi with bonito flakes or sesame seeds. This is another very simple side dish to make.

Coincidentally, this recipe reminded me of a recipe in a cook book by Michelle Tchea with the title “Building A Perfect Meal”. I came to know Michelle T through chowtimes. Michelle T wrote to me one day asking me where to get sao bing in Vancouver out of the blue.

During the 2010 Winter Olympic Game in Vancouver, Michelle T was in town for the games. We met up a couple of times at Gingeri Chinese Cuisine and Red Star Seafood Restaurant for dim sum.

Last month, I received an email from Michelle T asking me if I’m interested to share her newly published cookbook on chowtimes. I was trilled to hear that she had published a cook book.


Building A Perfect Meal is about how to create quick and simple meals at home. It’s a collection of basic recipes like creamy mashed potatoes, hand pulled noodles, pickled vegetables and fried rice with a jazz up version to create a more elaborate dish. The cook book also comes with valuable cooking tips from her experience in the kitchen.


While I was browsing through Michelle’s cook book, I came across a very similar recipe to the Spinach Ashitashi. It’s called Japanese Soy Spinach. Michelle T”s recipe uses beetroot leaves and stalks instead. In the cook book, Michelle T featured a Versatile Soy Stock and Dipping Sauce as seasoning for the spinach. I will share the recipe at the end of this post.


  • 2 to 3 bunches spinach
  • soy sauce to taste
  • bonito flakes
  • sesame seeds
  • salt


Source: Kazuko

Serves 4


Spinach-Ashitashi-3Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add some salt so that the spinach will retained it’s¬†greenness.

Add the spinach in batches if necessary.

Cook the spinach for 30 seconds or just until wilted.

Remove from the boiling water and plunged into an ice cold water to stop the cooking.

Drain the spinach.

Spinach-Ashitashi-5Squeeze dry the spinach.
Spinach-Ashitashi-4Chop into bite size.

Seasoned with soy sauce to taste.

Sprinkle with bonito flakes or sesame seeds.

Here is Michelle T’s recipe for the Versatile Soy Stock and Dipping Sauce. It can be used to make traditional Japanese hot pots and is perfect as a dipping sauce for sashimi when slightly¬†diluted. It is also delicious when tossed with hand-pulled noodles as Michelle T wrote in her cook book.


  • 2 pieces dried seaweed (konbu)
  • 250ml Japanese soy sauve
  • 750ml (3 cups) water
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant dashi powder


  • Soak dried seaweed in hot water for a least 30 minutes. Drain well
  • In a small pot, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until slightly thickened
  • The mixture should reduce to about 500ml (2 cups) of stock

When using the soy stock for seasoning the seaweed, dilute it with some ice so that it’s not too salty.

You can check out more about the cook book here. Building A Perfect Meal is available on Amazon.com

This Post Has One Comment

  1. egypt

    I just got the book after a friend recommended it!
    I was looking for recipes that incorporated mum’s cooking – being from China and also growing up in Vancouver.

    THANKS Michelle – !!!
    Buy the book!

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