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How squeeze dry spinach

Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 07:48 PM

I am VERY new to cooking. Several recipes I have come across say defrost and squeeze dry spinach. What is the best way to do this? I have been microwaving frozen spinach and then using a million paper towels to dry it, but I imagine there is a better way-is the microwave necessary? If I do it with a dish towel the spinach will stain it though.

I appreciate any advice!

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  1. j
    justagthing RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 07:54 PM

    I literally squeeze with my hands.

    2 Replies
    1. re: justagthing
      PeterL RE: justagthing Jan 28, 2008 07:07 AM

      Same here. Quite often in cooking your hands are your best tools, no need to buy some kind of spinach squeezer (I am sure they exist) from Williams Sonoma.

      1. re: PeterL
        JasmineG RE: PeterL Jan 28, 2008 10:43 AM

        My hands don't really get it dry enough, and little bits of spinach often squish through. I think that the dedicated old towel is the best solution that I've seen.

    2. f
      fourunder RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 08:02 PM

      For most recipes, squeezing through hands or pressing through a mesh strainer would work fine. For doing larger amounts or the absolute driest spinach possible, straining or wringing it through a dish towel is best.......This is the method a commercial kitchen would use....and the way they squeeze dry chopped parsley too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fourunder
        FoodFuser RE: fourunder Jan 27, 2008 08:19 PM

        Yes... a dedicated "spinach towel", gathered up and a tourniquet up top. Bleed into a cup, and drink the juice. Hang discretely to dry for re-use.

        1. re: FoodFuser
          Janet from Richmond RE: FoodFuser Jan 28, 2008 05:56 AM

          I have a "spinach towel" also...it's a worn out cloth napkin and works beautifully.

      2. JasmineG RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 08:04 PM

        I really hope that someone comes into this thread and gives us a revolutionary way to do this, but I've found no better ways than either squeezing with my hands, a dish towel, or lots of paper towels. I think that it's best to just use an old, clean dishtowel, and not worry about the staining, because it does a better job than the paper towels, and takes less time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JasmineG
          rockycat RE: JasmineG Jan 28, 2008 05:56 AM

          I do the towel wringing method, too, and haven't had a problem with permanent staining. I have, however, torn a few towels due to zealous over-wringing. I try not to use older towels for spinach anymore.

        2. hannaone RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 08:12 PM

          I usually use the hand squeeze but if I am doing large amounts I place the spinach in a fine mesh wire basket lined with a triple folded clean kitchen towel, then place a large plate or something similar on top, and add weight - like a couple of gallon jars of anything.
          Then I prep whatever else I need to do while the spinach presses itself.

          1. 2m8ohed RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 08:52 PM

            I find that a bamboo sushi mat is exactly the right tool for the job.

            1 Reply
            1. re: 2m8ohed
              2m8ohed RE: 2m8ohed Jan 28, 2008 06:59 PM

              Addendum: I haven't tried this with frozen spinach, but it's great for blanched or steamed fresh spinach.

            2. scuzzo RE: Learning2cook Jan 27, 2008 09:59 PM

              Just use your hands. No stained towel!

              1. v
                Val RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 05:44 AM

                Yep, it's one of those pain-in-the-tush tasks but I thaw it in a colander and just keep pressing and pressing with my fingers to squeeze the moisture out. I've never used paper towels.

                1. gatorfoodie RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 05:50 AM

                  Has anyone tried using a salad spinner?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gatorfoodie
                    alkapal RE: gatorfoodie Jan 30, 2008 04:51 AM

                    have not tried a spinner, but think the chopped spinach would spin out with the liquid....

                  2. kare_raisu RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 06:34 AM

                    The Japanese use the sudare - sushi mat for squeezing the water our of blanched bundles of spinach. Makes for an attractive presentation if you cut the squeezed rolled bundle in pieces and top off with a sesame dressing (goma-dare).

                    1. Sam Fujisaka RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 07:31 AM

                      Use your hands for squeezing spinach and grated potatoes; use your fist for pounding meat flat; use a towel and rolling pin to bash up ice or nuts; don't squash empty beercans on your forehead unless you're a college freshman.

                      1. m
                        MakingSense RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 09:28 AM

                        A potato ricer gets it dry as a bone. Or a dedicated linen napkin or flour sack for squeezing dry all sorts of things that stain or lining a strainer. These aren't rare kitchen tasks..

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MakingSense
                          chef chicklet RE: MakingSense Jan 28, 2008 11:51 AM

                          This is my way, works the best for me!

                        2. c
                          cook411 RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 10:47 AM

                          Is there a reason people don't just buy fresh spinach thats not frozen and use that instead?

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: cook411
                            BobB RE: cook411 Jan 28, 2008 10:53 AM

                            It still gives up enough water when you cook it that it needs draining. I use a slotted spoon to scoop it up and squeeze it against the side of the bowl.

                            1. re: cook411
                              honcha RE: cook411 Jan 28, 2008 10:57 AM

                              I use fresh and then just balance out the extra juice with some breadcrumbs in recipes where that is appropriate. No loss of nutrients that way either.

                              1. re: cook411
                                JasmineG RE: cook411 Jan 28, 2008 11:03 AM

                                Fresh spinach is still really watery after you cook it, and if you're using it to add to something else, you need to get the water out if you don't want to make your whole dish more watery.

                                1. re: cook411
                                  Sam Fujisaka RE: cook411 Jan 28, 2008 02:43 PM

                                  I overlooked that the OP was using frozen. Why would anyone use frozen spinach?

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                    kare_raisu RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 28, 2008 03:33 PM


                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                      MakingSense RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 28, 2008 04:14 PM

                                      Price. If you're going to cook, chop, or purée it, there's little difference in flavor. It's a good value. Maybe $1 for frozen vs. $2.50 for fresh.

                                      1. re: MakingSense
                                        justagthing RE: MakingSense Jan 28, 2008 05:33 PM

                                        plus, it is already 'condensed' ;)

                                        1. re: justagthing
                                          food_eater79 RE: justagthing Feb 2, 2008 10:45 AM

                                          I still prefer to cook raw spinach, or use it raw after washing, but it is more expensive overall. If you cook down a bag of raw spinach you will end up with literally a handful of the cooked green stuff.

                                  2. chelleyd01 RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 10:56 AM

                                    I squeeze dry with my hands in small amounts or use a kitchen towel. I use all white lint free kitchen towels and have never had an issue with staining as they are washed in hot water with Clorox Advantage.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chelleyd01
                                      jnstarla RE: chelleyd01 Jan 28, 2008 11:06 AM

                                      I do the same thing, chelley - white kitchen towel that is then bleached. I prefer all my towels (kitchen or otherwise) be white so they can be bleached no matter what, so it works out well.

                                    2. zorra RE: Learning2cook Jan 28, 2008 06:57 PM

                                      I microwave it with no added water, line a colander with (at least) four paper towels, put the spinach in, top with four more paper towels, and mash with my hands, or with the back of a fork if it's too hot to use my hands, Then I change the paper towels on the top and do it again. That's just the best way I've found, and it does work. I think you do need to use the microwave, or else I guess you'd just have to let it sit out until it was thawed.

                                      1. j
                                        jacquelyncoffey RE: Learning2cook Feb 4, 2008 12:42 PM

                                        The potato ricer is tops in my opinion, look for one at a yard sale, best $2.00 I ever spent. They work great for anything that needs to be extremely well drained, as long as its not too soft and will smoosh through the holes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jacquelyncoffey
                                          ekammin RE: jacquelyncoffey Feb 5, 2008 10:03 AM

                                          Defrost it, place it in a colander with small holes, and press down with the palms of your hands until the water stops running out.

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