Komatsuna no Goma-Ae

Komatsuna is a slightly tangy Japanese vegetable similar to spinach. When topped with Goma-Ae, or toasted sesame sauce, you’ll find a perfectly satisfying contrast of sweet and spicy flavors. Don’t be concerned if you can’t locate komatsuna – almost any leafy green can be used in this dish with delicious results. My favorite local sushi restaurant makes a wonderful version using broccoli rabe! Experiment. Try using regular spinach, chard, kale or beet greens.

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 6

 

Toasting sesame seeds doesn’t take very long, so be sure to stand guard at the stove and stir or shake the seeds frequently to avoid burning. I use an old coffee grinder to grind my toasted sesame seeds as it yields the thick, floury consistency I like. My grinder comes in handy during holiday baking as well, when it powers out mounds of ground hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds. If you decide to do this, be sure to use a grinder dedicated to nuts and seeds to avoid unwanted coffee flavors.

I should mention that my goma-ae recipe is a tad non-traditional. I was deeply honored when my good friend Chiharu complemented my sauce: “This is a delicious goma-ae, Alison-san. What did you do?”

“Um. I added sake”, I replied cautiously.

Chiharu tilted her head and looked at me. “Ee? Sake? Why didn’t I think of that?”

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 2

Komatsuna (Japanese Mustard Greens)

Ingredients
2 bunches komatsuna, or other fresh, leafy green vegetable

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 1

Preparation
Fill a large, heavy pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. In the meantime, wash and trim greens. Add the greens to the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the greens and immediately rinse with cold water to retain the bright green color. Carefully wring all excess water from greens, then chop into 1 ½ -inch lengths. Arrange on end in small dishes and top with goma-ae. Can be served hot or cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 8

 

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 9

 

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 5

 

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 12

Goma-Ae

Ingredients
6 tablespoons hulled white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake (or substitute water)

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 10

Preparation
Pour sesame seeds into a heavy frying pan. Toast over medium heat, stirring or shaking frequently, until the seeds turn a deep golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool. Using a mortar and pestle, or coffee mill or other means, finely grind seeds into a thick powder. Leave some seeds whole, if you like.

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 11

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 7

Put ground sesame seeds into a small mixing bowl. Add sugar, soy sauce, and sake (or water) to make a thick sauce. Add more sake (or water) if you like for a thinner consistency.

Makes about 1 cup of goma-ae.

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae 4

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae

Komatsuna no Goma-Ae

Itadakimasu!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

6 Comments on “Komatsuna no Goma-Ae”

  1. August 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    This looks so good. I love the greens and the ground sesame seeds together. What a great flavor profile. I will look for this dish when I go to my favorite Japanese restaurant here in Nashville. Thanks for sharing this dish.

    • August 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      Thanks, Teresa! Please let me know if you find it!

  2. August 19, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Itadakimasu! Beautiful presentation and love how neatly you lined up the vegetables before cutting them. I can’t wait to try this dish. Ja Mata, BAM

    • August 19, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Arigato gozaimashita, BAM! Hope you like it – don’t forget the sake. 😉

  3. August 19, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Love it. Beautiful presentation and I’m sure flavorful beyond belief. 🙂

    • August 19, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Thank you, Richard! Coming from you, with all of your tantalizing dishes, that really means a lot. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: