International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Sigumchi Namul

Sigumchi namul Korean sesame spinach

(Korean sesame spinach)

Image by Charles Haynes

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Sigumchi namul (시금치나물) is a simple and nutritious banchan, or side dish. It is commonly served with a variety of other banchan as part of a Korean meal. Often spelled sigeumchi or shigeumchi.

3 or 4 servings


  • Oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame seeds -- 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 to 3 cloves
  • Spinach, stems removed -- 1 large bunch
  • Soy sauce -- 4 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Sesame oil -- 1 to 2 teaspoons


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir fry for about 30 seconds, or until lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and stir fry for another 30 seconds until it justs starts to brown.
  2. Add the spinach in batches, stirring each addition until it wilts before adding the next. As soon as the spinach has cooked down, remove it from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the spinach in a colander or sieve and squeeze out any excess liquid. Toss in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients, adjust seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Sigumchi Namul Variations

  • The spinach can also be steamed in a little water instead of stir fried.
  • Eliminate the sesame seeds if you prefer.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice.


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