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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 bath until cool.
- Take the spinach out of the water bath and squeeze as much water out.
- Cut the spinach into 2” (5 cm) lengths.
- 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.