Early summer when arugula is abundant, quick sauteed arugula with soy sauce can make easy and delicious side dish.
Arugula is not Japanese vegetable, but it started to be available in Japan from late 90s. Some Japanese love its distinctive peppery sesame flavor, but others shy away from it.
I always ate arugula as salad, but I learned that it can be boiled and eat as ohitashi, or sauteed quickly with a drop of soy sauce. As I get a bunch two weeks in a row from my CSA, I sauteed a bunch.
Wash the leaves well, cut of the roots, and dry well using a salad spinner. Then heat a pan well with a small amount of vegetable oil to saute the arugula a couple of minutes. As soon as drop a small amount of soy sauce (about 1 tsp for a bunch), turn off the heat and serve. That’s it.
When arugula is heated, the peppery sesame flavor is gone, but the vegetable retains the crunchiness. I didn’t know that arugula can be served as a part of Japanese meal. This is a perfect side dish for teriyaki salmon.