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Ohitashi

ohitashi

Ohitashi is a Japanese dish of blanched greens steeped in dashi broth. The greens keep their flavour, while absorbing the subtle umami notes from the dashi, creating a refined dish that works great as a side. 

Dashi broth is made by soaking kombu seaweed and bonito (dried fish) flakes in water, creating an umami-rich broth that is used extensively in Japanese cooking. You can make it from scratch, buy instant dashi granules, or buy pre-made dashi broth in tetra pack containers. If you can’t find any of the above, try the recipe out with a low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead. 

Any green can be used for this dish. I used spinach for the one pictured, but have successfully used nettles and collards as well. Feel free to experiment with any wild or store bought greens! 

  • Prep Time58 min
  • Cook Time2 min
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Yield4 servings as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454g) fresh spinach (not baby spinach), nettles, or other wild or store bought greens
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dashi broth (or 1/4 teaspoon instant dashi granules mixed into 1/2 cup cooking liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) mirin
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Japanese soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds or bonito flakes to garnish

Preparation

1

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. 

Have a large bowl of cold water ready nearby.

Add the washed greens and simmer for 2 minutes (more for hearty greens like collards). 

Transfer the greens to the cold water to stop them from cooking (be sure to set aside 1/2 cup of cooking liquid if using instant dashi granules). 

2

In a bowl large enough to fit all of the cooked greens, add the dashi broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well. 

3

Once the greens are cooled, drain the water, then squeeze them tightly to make sure there is no water left in them. 

Transfer the greens to a cutting board and use your fingers to fluff them back up, since they’ll be in a tight ball from squeezing. 

Use a knife to chop the greens into bite-sized pieces. 

4

Transfer the chopped greens to the bowl of dashi and gently mix to combine. 

Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and up to a whole day. I usually aim for about an hour. 

5

Transfer the greens into individual bowls and pour over the sauce. Top with sesame seeds or a pinch of bonito flakes. Enjoy! 

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