It's been unusually hot here in Seattle and when that happens, I want to eat light and that means salads and cold plates. In Chinese cuisine, anything served room temperature or colder is called a cold plate. And, I might add, the vegetables are usually cooked before they are served cold. Tonight, I decided tonight to make one of my Mother's favorite vegetable cold plate that involves blanching Spinach and topping it with a Ginger-infused Dressing. It can be served immediately, but I usually refrigerate it so that it is served cold. This is a lovely accompaniment to a grilled Steak that has been marinating in Asian flavors and is a perfect recipe for a summer night!
Spinach with Ginger Dressing
8 oz bag of Spinach (275 g), washed
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used Grapeseed)
1 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and grated (equals about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons Chinkiang Black Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Tamari
2 Tablespoons Chicken Broth
½ teaspoon Sesame Oil
½ teaspoon - 1 teaspoon Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
Combine the Vegetable Oil, Vinegar, Tamari, Sesame Oil and Chicken Broth in a small bowl. Then stir in the Ginger, Sugar and Salt. Taste and add more Sugar if desired.
Heat a pot of Water to a boil. Add the Spinach, submerge and then drain. Rinse quickly with cold Water. Place the Spinach in a serving bowl and pour the dressing over. Toss to mix and chill to serve cold.
Five Element Analysis
Spinach as a leafy Green belongs to the Wood Element and this is mostly a Wood Element food with the Vinegar and Chicken Broth adding even more. The Water Element is also present in a small amount from the Tamari and the Sesame Oil. And the Ginger brings in just a hint of both the Metal and Earth Elements. So, this is a good side dish where the main dish is from the Earth Element, like Steak and any other dishes should incorporate the Fire Element and more of the Metal Element to create balance.