The best discovery happens by chance. Especially when you had some wine 😛 This Republic day after a few glasses of wine I happened to stumble upon a photo from 26th January 2013 in Mumbai for Republic Day and me hogging on crackling spinach and some fine cocktails at Mainland China. All memories came rushing back and I really had to make this ultimate crunchy, salt, spicy appetizer called CRACKLING SPINACH! *claps*
#MainlandChina for the uninitiated was the epitome of luxury Chinese food back in the day, across most cities in India. I have not been to one for years now and how I wish there was one in Paris! In memory of their fantastic food, I made my all time favourite. The Crispy Spinach with sesame.
This recipe also teaches you a very cool chopping technique called Chiffonade. Chiffonade is basically stacking up the leaves, rolling them tightly like how one would roll a cigar (Gordon Ramsay says it, not me :P) and then slicing across the roll. Basically, this technique allows herbs or leafy vegetables like basil, mint, or Spinach end up in thin, pretty strips.
- 30-35 spinach leaves (you can use lesser leaves or more but make sure to fry them in batches to allow space)
- Slivered almonds
- 1 tsp paprika/chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp fine sugar
- oil for deep frying
- Sea- salt to taste
- Slivered almonds
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Wash the spinach and pat dry with a paper towel. Take 4 to 6 leaves at a time and chiffonade them. (read about chiffonade above).
- Lightly dust cornflour on the leaves and deep fry the spinach in batches until crispy. Make sure the heat is very high at first and medium-low towards the end. (if the oil is not hot the leaves will start wilting.However, be careful to not burn them)
- Take it out on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil. This step is extremely important as the excess oil can take away the crunch.
- Mix slivered almonds + 1/2 tbsp paprika/chilli flakes+ salt+sugar+toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. Mix gently. Serve immediately. Eat quickly.
**Image courtesy and details of chiffonade:http://olivesfordinner.com