Spinach ohitashi in white ceramic plates.

Spinach Ohitashi (Japanese Spinach Salad with Savory Broth)

Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ohitashi, salad, spinach
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Nami
This method infuses ingredients with umami and subtle flavor but retains the food's natural taste. It's one of common methods we use to prepare vegetable dishes. 


  • 1 bunch spinach
  • Pinch kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)

Kombu Dashi (You can also use Awase Dashi (a combination of kombu + katsuobushi)




  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Spinach Ohitashi Ingredients

To Make Kombu Dashi

  1. In a saucepan, put water and kombu.

    Spinach Ohitashi 1
  2. Slowly bring it to a boil. Once boiling, remove the kombu from the liquid (You can make Kombu Tsukudani with the used kombu). If you are not vegan/vegetarian, you can add a small amount of katsuobushi to make Awase Dashi for more flavors. Please see the instruction here. If you're using dashi powder, please read here.

    Spinach Ohitashi 2

To Make Savory Broth

  1. In Kombu Dashi, add mirin and usukuchi soy sauce.

    Spinach Ohitashi 3
  2. Mix together and once it boils, turn off the heat.

    Spinach Ohitashi 4

To Prepare Spinach

  1. Rinse the spinach and boil a large pot of water.

    Spinach Ohitashi 5
  2. When the water is boiling, add the salt and put the spinach in the pot from the stem side first because it takes longer to cook. After 15 seconds, you can push down the leafy part into the water and cook for 1 minute. (US spinach is tender than Japanese spinach, so it’ll cook faster).

    Spinach Ohitashi 6
  3. Once the spinach is cooked through, pick it up quickly, roughly less than 1 minute.

    Spinach Ohitashi 7
  4. Transfer to iced water and let it cool (but don’t leave the spinach too long as you will lose the nutrients).

    Spinach Ohitashi 8
  5. As soon as it’s cooled, collect spinach and squeeze water out. If you like to serve as I do, collect the stem and put together. I like to serve both stem and leafy parts separately instead of mixing it up together.

    Spinach Ohitashi 9
  6. Cut the spinach into 1 ½ inch lengths and squeeze the water out one more time.

    Spinach Ohitashi 10
  7. Put the spinach in the airtight container and pour the sauce over.

    Spinach Ohitashi 11
  8. Make sure the spinach is evenly distributed in the container and soak in the sauce. Put the lid on and let it soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (3-4 hours ideally).

    Spinach Ohitashi 12

To Serve

  1. Serve the spinach in a bowl and pour the sauce over. I like to make sure each bowl gets both spinach stem and leafy part. Love the dark and light color contrast to each other.

    Spinach Ohitashi 13
  2. Sprinkle sesame seeds for vegan/vegetarian version, and bonito flakes for non-vegan/vegetarian version.

    Spinach Ohitashi 14

To Store

  1. You can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.