Korean-Style Greens

This is a staple at my house as it’s so easy to make and great for packed lunches. The recipe is from Korea, and one that is often served as part of the banchan at a Korean meal. If you’ve never had Korean food. . . go out and try some immediately! One of the of the best parts is the banchan, or side dishes, that accompany a meal. A good restaurant will usually serve 5 or 6, and these will include kimchi along with other pickles and vinegard salads. If you live near Portland, OR, my favorite restaurant is Hae Rim at the Beaverton Town Square. They are very generous with the banchan and make THE BEST kimchi I’ve ever had. 😉

For this dish I’ve slightly adapted a recipe for Sigumchi Namul, from Korean Cooking, by Hilaire Walden. Sigumchi Namul is typically made with spinach, but I’ve found that any fresh leafy green works well, and I especially love using collard and mustard greens. Rapini, or broccoli rabe are also good. Feel free to use whatever you have. This is a nice recipe for anyone who has a home garden – just pick a little of this and a little of that!

Korean-Style Greens

Korean-Style Greens
Serves 4-6

1lb. fresh greens
1 garlic clove, crushed
1T sesame seeds (I prefer toasted)
2T soy sauce
1T toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wash greens and remove any woody stalks, but leave more tender stems in place. Coarsely chop or tear the greens into largish pieces. Whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the greens, replace lid, and let blanch for about 1 minute. Drain in colander and immediately rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking. Allow to drain well, then use your hands to squeeze out any excess water. Toss the dry, blanched greens in a serving bowl with dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (I think it tastes best at room temperature.)

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