When I was a kid, Popeye tried to share a secret but I didn’t listen. It wasn’t until I was an adult did I learn to love spinach. Not straight from the can like Popeye but with eggs, meat, chicken, fish, noodles and even tofu and other vegetables.
But the problem with spinach is how it can turn any dish rather soupy because of the amount of water it contains. What I do is to squeeze out the excess water.
First, I wash the spinach very well to remove any sand embedded in the stalks and leaves.
Next I trim the spinach. I separate the leaves and tender stalks from the bigger stalks and discard the latter.
Then, I wilt the leaves. I do this either by:
1. Placing the spinach in a colander and pouring boiling water over them or
2. Blanching the spinach for about 10 seconds.
Whichever procedure I do, I always refresh the spinach to stop the “cooking”. If I pour boiling over the leaves, I just turn on the tap to give them a cold water bath. If I blanch them, I strain them then dump them in a bowl of iced water.
After refreshing, I strain the spinach well and just squeeze the leaves to remove as much of the water as I can.
After that, I cut the spinach into whatever size I need for whatever dish I’m cooking. The spinach is now ready to go into the pan for fast cooking. With all the excess water gone, they won’t make salads nor stir fried dishes soupy.