You will need a Japanese mortar and pestle (suribachi and surikogi) for this recipe, as the sweet flavour of the roasted sesame is most intense when ground. This can also be made with asparagus instead of spinach.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread sesame seeds on a dry baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant.
I OMITTED THE BROWN SUGAR AND ALSO USED SOY SAUCE. I PUT ONE TABLESPOON OF WATER IN PAN THEN THE SPINACH TO WILT DOWN A BIT THEN ADDED THE SESAME SEEDS CRUSHED WITH THE OIL. CAME OUT GREAT. TWO OF MY FAVORITES. SESAME SEEDS AND SPINACH. - 10 Jan 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I'm sorry to say this was disappointing. It sounded delicious, but it ended up lacking flavor. For me, the sweetness just didn't go well with the spinach; it needed some saltiness, such as soy sauce, to balance it out. Plus, cooking the spinach in sesame oil seems to be a waste, because I couldn't taste it. I think it would work better to wilt the spinach in a dry skillet and add the sesame oil at the end for flavoring. Unfortunately, even the ground sesame seeds didn't work well: They ended up getting soggy sitting on the sauteed spinach. My boyfriend, who loves spinach, didn't care for this, either. I think this might be better, with some modifications, either baked or as a salad. Thanks anyway. - 10 Aug 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I made some adjustments based on others' comments and we LOVED this dish! I wilted the spinach in 1 tbsp EACH of soy sauce and water. Once wilted, I added a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh ground pepper to the remaining liquid in the pan. Then I added the sesame seed oil and sesame seeds. Very good! - 10 Dec 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)