Tag Archives: sugar

Spinach Gomaae

24 Oct

One of most popular Japanese dish, simple preparation is best feature.

Enjoy to squeeze the water out, making leaves tender.

Pleasure of health by eating.

Spinach Gomaae

Spinach Gomaae

Gomaae salads in North America are usually presented with spinach, but you can make a variety of things in gomaae style. (Goma = sesame, Ae = to dress.) Although the custom is generally to undress before forking, this dressing is so yummy, you’ll prefer to be dressed for this forking sesssion. Dressings vary from cook to cook, so see the suggestions below for four different takes on this ever-popular dish.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 bunches of spinach, or the guu (filling) of your choice (see “Variations” section”)
  • Goma dressing (choose variation appealing to you)
Ingredient Recipe 1 Recipe 2 Recipe 3 Recipe 4
Freshly ground sesame seeds (NOT tahini) 4 Tbsp 3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp 4 Tbsp
Sugar 2 Tbsp 3 Tbsp 1 ½ Tbsp 1 Tbsp
Soy Sauce 1 ½ tsp 2 Tbsp 1 ½ Tbsp 1 Tbsp
Sesame oil ¾  – 1 tsp 3 Tbsp

How to make Spinach Gomaae

  1. Prepare and set aside the dressing.
  2. Wash and boil the greens. Boil and salt plenty of water, drop in washed leaves and boil until just wilted.
  3. Drain wilted leaves into a colander and plunge into a large bowl of icy cold water.
  4. Once greens have cooled, drain them again and then squeeze out the water (be quite firm). The leaves will be much smaller in size – don’t be surprised.
  5. Prepare portions: Shape the squeezed greens into a thick log-shape, and cut into individual portion sizes. Put each portion into a small dish and dress just before serving. (Toss the dressing through the guu if you prefer.)


Toss any of the following (or any combination of the following) with the dressing for a simple side-dish

  • Salt-massaged vegetables: e.g. daikon radish, carrot, cucumber which has been thinly sliced, salted and “massaged”, left to leech moisture for 20+ minutes, and then squeezed out.
  • Steamed vegetables: e.g. green beans, thinly sliced potato
  • Sauteed vegetables: e.g. mushrooms, okra
  • Steamed or boiled meats: e.g. chicken, sliced pork
  • Raw fish: sashimi-grade tuna (cut into cubes) or slices of tuna carpaccio – great with avocado

Not the same as the creamy “gomaae” dressings you’ll find at most Japanese restaurants (some of which taste as though they are made from peanuts and not sesame) you can substitute the above recipe with a pre-made sesame dressing. Try sesame shabu shabu dipping sauce if you prefer to fork something creamy and rich.

Happy forking!


Gindara Miso-ni: Simmered Black Cod in Miso Sauce

11 Oct

Inside of autumn breezes time, please include simmered dishes of the season

with sweetness of miso paste and luxury texture of local fishes


Gindara Miso-ni
Gindara (Black Cod) Miso-ni

Struggling to decide which recipe to include this week in my class to highlight the nimono cooking technique, it breaks my heart to cut this one – especially after sampling it with my roommate last week. So in place of teaching it to my students, I share it with you and hope you’ll give it a go.

Tender and flavourful, you can’t go wrong with this simmered fish dish. It is impossible to overcook (you can forget about it, leave it simmering, and still have a moist fish – just add a bit of water) and the resulting sauce is uber-tasty. I guarantee you will want to eat every last drop of sauce by scraping it off of your plate onto your rice – and then lick your plate clean!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 pieces fish (e.g. mackerel or cod)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 cm piece of dashi kombu (stock kelp) (if you can’t find this, leave it out and continue)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking sake
  • ½ – 1 Tbsp ginger, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste

How to make Gindara Miso-ni:

  1. Rinse cut of fish and cut an “X” or a few slices through the skin to allow for flavor to penetrate.
  2. In a shallow pot or frying pan (with a lid) pour in water and sake, place in the kombu and bring to a boil.
  3. Place in the fish, skin-side up.
  4. Once the edges have cooked a little, and the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add ginger and sugar to the boiling water. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, close the lid, and cook for about 8 minutes.
  5. Uncover, and in a small bowl, mix miso with a couple of spoons of the hot liquid from the pot. Add the thinned out miso paste, mix, cover and simmer again for another 7 – 8 minutes, uncovering every once in a while to spoon the sauce over the fish.
  6. Continue to cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Serve hot with a generous spoonful of the sauce and a bowl of steaming hot rice.

Tips and Tricks:

* Use a wide, flat frying pan or shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid.

* Parchment paper should be cut to the same size as the pan you are cooking in, with a few slits in the body of the circle (think Kindergarten paper snowflakes) and laid on top of the fish when simmering. This directs the simmering liquid up over the fish and prevents it from evaporating too quickly, keeping the fish moist.