Spinach and Sesame Salad

Finally! I’m back with a recipe (though it’s so short I’m not sure that it really counts). My love of salad has been fairly well documented on Sweet Peas and while it’s always fun to try new things, my standard is butter lettuce tossed with a simple vinaigrette. There are usually no tomatoes, no cucumber, just leaves slicked with a simple mixture of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Every once in a while though, it’s nice to mix things up a bit. Variety is the spice of life etc etc. Also, a french vinaigrette doesn’t sit well next to miso glazed salmon on the dinner table. Enter, spinach and sesame salad.

Dressing, Soon To Be

It’s been said that if you get one keeper dish from a recipe book, it’s worth it’s purchase price. If that’s true, Asian After Work by Adam Liaw has more than earned its place in my cookbook collection. I’ve tried the roasted chicken with coriander and fish sauce, wanton noodles and miso glazed eggplant, all of which were delicious. But my favourite recipe so far, is this salad. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and it packs an unami punch that’s so satisfying. We eat it with bento pork, fried rice or soba noodles. Adam also recommends pouring it over steamed chicken or grilled pork, something I definitely intend to try.

Salad, Dressed

Spinach and Sesame Salad (from Asian After Work by Adam Liaw)

2 large handfuls (about 100g) of babe spinach leaves, washed and dried

1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds


1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp caster sugar

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 small spring onions, white and light green parts (optional)

1. For the dressing, place the soy sauce, caster sugar, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil and spring onions (if using) in a jar. Shake well to combine, making sure the sugar has dissolved.

2. Toss the baby spinach and cucumber in a salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and serve immediately.


  • I just cannot get on board with raw onion so I skip the spring onion here, with no ill effects. Besides, I can’t bear to buy a whole bunch knowing that I’ll use only a couple before they start to liquify in my crisper.
  • Any left over dressing keeps well in the fridge.


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