Update: Pictures updated in August 2012.
Spinach or green beans are often dressed in sesame sauce in Japanese cuisine. Goma means sesame seed in Japanese and Goma-ae are dishes prepared with sesame sauce. The delicate texture of freshly ground sesame seeds pairs very well with flavorful vegetables.
This is one of the most common Japanese side dishes, or we call it Osouzai (お惣菜) in Japanese, and you often find them included in the bento box or teishoku (lunch set). Enjoy!
- 1 bunch (1/2 lb, 220 g) spinach
- A pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sake
- 1/2 tsp. mirin
- For the sesame sauce, put sesame seeds in a frying pan and toast them on low heat. When 2-3 sesame seeds start to pop from the pan, remove from the heat.
- Grind the toasted sesame seeds with a motor and pestle until smooth.
- In a bowl, combine the ground sesame seeds with soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin, and mix all together.
- Rinse the spinach thoroughly and bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot.
- Add the spinach to boiling water from stem side and cook for 1 minute.
- Drain and soak the spinach in cold water until cool.
- Collect the spinach and squeeze water out.
- Cut the spinach into 2” (5 cm) lengths.
- Toss spinach and sesame sauce together and serve at room temperature or chilled.
American spinach is very soft and we can eat it raw unlike Japanese spinach; therefore, cooking for 1 minute is more than enough.