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
- 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
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).
In a bowl large enough to fit all of the cooked greens, add the dashi broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well.
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.
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.
Transfer the greens into individual bowls and pour over the sauce. Top with sesame seeds or a pinch of bonito flakes. Enjoy!