Japanese sesame spinach (horenso no gomaae)

20 Feb

spinach gomaae

This dish of blanched spinach in a sesame seed dressing takes me straight back to my time living in Japan. Tokyo was (and is) an expensive city, and we ate in most nights — Japanese food mainly.

The local shops didn’t sell anything else, and anyway, it was fun to buy unfamiliar ingredients and figure out what to do with them.

At Home With Japanese Cooking by Elizabeth Andoh was my daily companion that year. She introduced me to unfamiliar ingredients, explained mystifying kitchen utensils, and showed me how to skewer a mackerel and prepare a fresh bamboo shoot.

Flipping through it now it’s easy to see what we cooked most often: hijiki no ni mono, yakisoba, aubergines braised in dark miso sauce, and this delicious sesame spinach.

Japanese sesame spinach (horenso no gomaae)
(serves 3-4 as a side dish)

  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 3 Tb sesame seeds
  • 2 Tb soy sauce
  • 1 Tb caster sugar
  • 2 tsp mirin
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.
  2. Add the spinach, turn off the heat and let it stand for 30 seconds, before draining and running under cold water.
  3. Squeeze as much water as possible from the spinach, and cut into 2cm lengths.
  4. In a small frying pan over a medium-low flame, dry roast the sesame seeds.
  5. Grind the sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle, then stir in the soy sauce, caster sugar and mirin.
  6. Pour the sesame dressing over the spinach, and mix well.
  7. Serve cold or at room temperature.

2 Responses to “Japanese sesame spinach (horenso no gomaae)”

  1. Margo February 20, 2019 at 4:07 pm #

    A lovely sounding dish. It especially fits into my new make ahead credo for entertaining

    • Andrea February 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm #

      Thank you, and completely agree with the make-ahead approach as the best way to enjoy the evening yourself…:)

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