Gulf News’ Your Ramadan Table’ food show: Spinach and prawn salad with Chinese five spice dressing

Gulf News’ Your Ramadan Table’ food show: Spinach and prawn salad with Chinese five spice dressing

Chef John Buenaventura’s favourite Asian cold salad can be prepared in under 30 minutes

Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/ Gulf News

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3


700 gms spinach

350 gms prawns

5 gms bird eye chillies

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (store bought)

10 gms garlic

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp regular soy sauce

1 tbsp Yuzu juice (store bought)

½ tsp white pepper

2 tbsp roasted sesame oil

1 tbsp plum sauce

25 gms spring onion

2 tbsp white vinegar

50 gms sesame seeds

1 tsp brown sugar

50 gms red onions

10 gms corn oil

Salt to taste


Roughly chop the spinach. In a pan, add water with a pinch of salt over a medium flame. Blanch the spinach for one minute, then strain it under cold water for 1 to 2 minutes. Set it aside.

For the salad dressing, combine soy sauce, white vinegar, yuzu juice, a pinch or two of Chinese five-spice powder, brown sugar, plum sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well. Then, add finely chopped red onions, spring onions, and bird’s eye chilies. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of water. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To marinate the prawns, add them to a bowl, along with thinly chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of five-spice powder, and a tablespoon of sesame oil. Let it rest for 20 minutes.

Heat the pan over a medium flame. Add corn oil and stir-fry the prawns. Set aside. Also, pan-roast the sesame seeds for a minute or two.

On a plate, serve the spinach, add a generous amount of salad dressing and roasted sesame seeds, and top with stir-fried prawns. Garnish with red chillies and serve.


Keep the onion in the refrigerator before cutting to avoid teary eyes.

Instead of prawns, you can use duck breast or chicken.

Never blanch leafy vegetables for more than two or three minutes, as they will lose their colour and nutrients.

It's one of my favourite Asian cold salads. It's nutritious and tasty at the same time. The juicy prawns, crunchy spinach, and roasted sesame seeds all provide a burst of flavour in your mouth. Don't miss out on this salad. I would totally recommend it.

- Chef John Buenaventura, Executive Chef and Host of Your Ramadan Table by Gulf News

Join us for the next recipe tomorrow!

Do you have a favourite Ramadan recipe to share? Write to us at

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve your experience and provide more personalized service to you. Both on your website and other media. To find out more about the cookies and data we use, please check out our Privacy Policy.