Marinated Spinach Recipe

Marinated spinach with leeks makes a wonderful addition to a Japanese bentō, a traditional lunch.

Summer 2014

  • Photo courtesy iStock/4kodiak

Total Hands-On Time: 10 min

Yield: Family-sized serving

Marinated Spinach (or Hōrensō Sunomono)

Our second sunomono differs in that it is cooked and is based on a leafy green. Spinach is one of the earliest greens to be harvested from the spring garden in most places, and makes a wonderful addition to our bentō. 

This dish also uses Allium fistulosum, known variously as Japanese Leeks, Japanese Bunching Onions, Spring Onions, or Welsh Onions. The last name is a misnomer, as this type of onion has no connection with the Celtic countries, it having rather been domesticated in Siberia and northeastern Asia, where it grows wild. In this case “welsh” is derived from the Old English “welisc” meaning “foreign,” which these Asian onions would have been to the Europeans. Although it is possible to use thinnings from the common onion (Allium cepa), their flavor is not the same.


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