Spinach Sesame Toss-Goma Ae
When I was a kid, spinach was my worst enemy.
I also had a dislike for a lot of other things such as celery, strawberries and orange. On the other hand I had a fondness for things that some consider strange like natto( fermented soybeans ), raw clam sushi and grilled chicken cartilage. So my mother's mission was to somehow get me to like spinach and that was a good thing because spinach is supposed to be very good for you. Even Popeye would agree as he pops open a can of spinach and says, "I'm strong to the finish when I eats me spinach".
Hourensou no Goma Ae
This simple dish is called Hourensou no Goma-Ae in Japanese which literally means spinach (hourensou) sesame (goma) toss (ae). The "no" just means "of" just in case you were wondering. Anyway, this was my mother's secret recipe and soon enough, the spinach was somehow working its way into my tummy. It's toasty and slightly sweet with a bit of savory and the spinach leaves are cooked just enough so it still retains its bite. I ended up liking this dish so much that my mother had to make it for me at least once a week for me. She eventually just started to make large batches and leave them in a tupperware for me to eat whenever I had the desire. Thanks Mom!
This spinach dish is a very common and traditional Japanese dish that we serve alongside other dishes. It is considered a side dish and complements most Japanese dishes. However I have also served it on the side with Western dishes such as roast chicken or grilled fish. It's not only incredibly fast and simple to make but is a highly nutritious dish. It contains no added oil of any kind and uses the natural fats from the sesame oil for moisture.
You can use other vegetables too!
This sesame base can and is used to make variations using other vegetables such as okra and green beans and they are just as tasty. The recipe calls for crushed white sesame seeds but if you can only find whole sesame seeds, you can grind them yourself in a mini-blender such as magic bullet. Alternatively you could put the seeds in a bowl and crush them using the end of a rolling pin or use a suribachi ( Japanese mortar and pestle ) like I did. They don't need to be crushed too fine either and always use white sesame seeds because the black ones taste different.
- 2 large bunches spinach washed well
- 4 tablespoons crushed white sesame seeds
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- Boil the spinach for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and wash in cold water.
- Squeeze all excess water out and cut into 3-inch size.
- Combine crushed sesame seeds, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
- Add spinach to the mixture and mix well to combine all ingredients.
- Serve as a side dish to your favorite meals.
Do You Like This Recipe?
One of the most famous cookbook authors in Japan, she has more than 100 published already. This is a great collection of recipes that are easy to make and healthy.