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Spinach Side Dish - Spicy version, Gochujang Sigeumchi Namul

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)
Average: 2 (1 vote)
quick n easy
nut free
prep time: 
15 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
15 min
total time: 
30 min

This is a simple Korean side dish made with blanched spinach and dressed with flavorful seasonings. Sigeumchi, or spinach, is a popular vegetable used in namul. Namul is a general Korean term for any type of seasoned vegetable dish. Vegetables are typically blanched first, then tossed with seasonings.

Namul is eaten fresh because it doesn't last long in the refrigerator. For best results, add the seasonings right before serving. You might recognize the other variation of sigeumchi namul that is used in bibimbap. This version is similar but with some added spice from gochujang.

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For blanching spinach

7 ozSpinach 시금치
4 cupsWater 물
½ tspSalt 소금

For seasoning

1 tbsGochujang (Hot Pepper Paste) 고추장
½ Green Onion 파
2 clove(s)Garlic Clove (whole) 통마늘
¼ tspSalt 소금 (more or less depending on type and brand)
1 tbsSesame Oil 참기름
½ tspSesame Seeds 깨 (ground, optional)

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Salt: The amount of salt may vary depending on the type and the brand of the salt you use. Always taste the food and add salt gradually. Kosher salt or sea salt is always better than table salt (refined) in terms of taste and nutrition.

Good to Know
Salt: If available, natural sea salt always makes food taste better. Remember, sea salt has a different saltiness than table salt. So taste as you gradually add it. If you are using coarse salt, make sure it's mixed very well.

Mix the blanched spinach with the seasoning sauce right before serving for best flavor and presentation.

You can store the dish in the refrigerator about 1 day. In general, Korean namul dishes do not last a long time.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Mince garlic

Mince 2 cloves of garlic to yield about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.

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  • 2 cloves garlic

2. Chop green onion

Finely chop ½ green onion. Use only the green part of the green onion or mix with a little bit of the white part.

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  • ½ green onion

3. Prepare spinach

Cut off the root ends of spinach with scissors. Wash it thoroughly under running water.

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Cut root ends

Wash thoroughly

4. Blanch

Boil 4 cups of water on high heat. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 1 min on high heat.

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Boil 4 cups water high heat High Heat image: highheat.png

Add ½ teaspoon salt

Blanch in boiling water 1 min image: clock.png 1 min

5. Rinse

Rinse spinach twice in cold water. Squeeze all the water out with hands.

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Rinse in cold water twice

Squeeze water out

6. Season

Season spinach with 1 tablespoon of hot pepper paste, chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ½ teaspoon of ground sesame seeds. Mix by hand gently and thoroughly. If you don’t have a sesame seed grinder, you can use whole sesame seeds.

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  • 1 tbs hot pepper paste
  • chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground sesame seeds

Mix well

7. Serve

Serve in a side dish plate. Enjoy! *Mix the blanched spinach with the seasoning sauce right before serving for best flavor and presentation.

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