Gomae! My new war cry!
But also the Japanese word for a side dish of vegetables and sesame dressing.
I first ate gomae during a lovely party held at a Japanese restaurant a few weeks ago. It was a terrific and well-timed discovery, as I had just bought a gigantic, 1 kg bag of roasted black sesame seeds.
I had no specific intentions for the seeds, except to eat them, and this is a pretty tasty way of eating them! Black sesame has a tantalizingly rich but delicate flavour that lends itself well to both savoury and sweet dishes. If you are skeptical, this dish is a delicious place to start – usually you see this dressing made with spinach, but I didn’t have any and improvised with the contents of my fridge. It makes a light and simple weekday lunch, or can be an accompaniment to a larger meal. Enjoy!
Beet and rainbow chard gomae
makes 2-4 servings
1 bundle of rainbow chard
2-3 beets, boiled and peeled
6 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
6 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
Chop the rainbow chard into 1 cm long bits and steam. Meanwhile, dice the beets and put them into a large bowl. When the chard is cooked, add it to the beets. Blend the sesame seeds (you can add some mirin to help keep it moving) and then mix everything together. This can be done with a ton of different dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, kale, arugula…). Spinach is more delicate in flavour, so the dressing probably doesn’t need the extra sugar to match the intensity of the vegetable, but go with your intuition. Serve at room temperature.
Leftover dressing can be stored in a jar in the fridge for 5-7 days. Relive the glory!