spinach gomaae (spinach with sesame sauce)

spinach gomaae

Pictured above is a perfect example of why I will never be the perfect Japanese housewife (not that I am aiming to be one). My spinach is not arranged evenly and I neglected to mix in the sauce but decided to just dribble it over the spinach. I guess it doesn’t matter much to me, as long as it looks “presentable” and “delicious”. 🙂

This is a traditional Japanese side dish that can often be seen in bentos. Some recipes call for peanut butter as a cheat ingredient. I actually really like the peanut butter version but decided to try out this traditional version as I had some fresh spinach on hand.

The recipe is taken from one of my favourite Japanese food blogs – Just One Cookbook.

Spinach Gomaae (Spinach with Sesame Sauce)

(taken from here)


  • 1 bunch (1/2 lb, 220 g) spinach (not baby spinach)
  • A pinch of salt

For the sesame sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1.5 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sake
  • ½ teaspoon mirin


  1. 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 or when the seeds start to turn a light golden brown, remove from the heat.
  2. Grind the toasted sesame seeds with a motor and pestle until smooth. There is a special mortar and pestle the Japanese use called a suribachi.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ground sesame seeds with soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin, and mix all together.
  4. Rinse the spinach thoroughly and bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot.
  5. Add the spinach to boiling water from stem side and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Drain and soak the spinach in cold water bath until cool.
  7. Take the spinach out of the water bath and squeeze as much water out.
  8. Cut the spinach into 2” (5 cm) lengths.
  9. Toss spinach and sesame sauce together and serve at room temperature or chilled. Or you can just arrange the spinach on a plate and dribble the sauce over like what I did.

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