Recipes: Ohitashi Spinach

Ohitashi literally means something that is soaked or drenched in liquid. The fun is watching the bonito flakes curl and writhe when you place it on top of the spinach.


Parboil 1 bunch of English spinach and refresh in cold running water. Squeeze out excess moisture. Don’t leave to soak in cold water as the spinach will get soggy and the colour not as fresh.

Chop into 3 cm lengths. Arrange on a plate in neat piles. You can lay the spinach flat like the picture, but we like to arrange the spinach vertically, which means you have to cut the spinach all the same length and squeeze tight to create an upstanding bunch.

Mix together soy sauce , a little mirin, dashi (bonito stock) and drizzle onto the spinach. Experiment yourself with the proportions of the ingredients to create your own distinctive signature. Add the sauce just before serving to get that fresh, crispy finish. Finally, sprinkle on lots of bonito flakes. For a special touch, bring on some toasted sesame seeds.

by Masako Fukui, Copyright Kei’s Kitchen