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Spinach with Sesame Seeds

Spinach with Sesame Sauce

This dish is a ubiquitous side dish often made with spinach or green beans. Blanched spinach is tossed with sesame seeds and seasoning. Goma means sesame seeds and “ae” means to toss or to dress something with.  
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword goma-ae, kikkoman mirin, Salad, sesame seeds, soy sauce, spinach, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings 3 people
Calories 139kcal
Cost $7.00


  • Suribachi & Surikogi (Japanese style mortar and pestle)


  • 12 oz fresh spinach, trimmed and washed one bunch
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds natural
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce may use regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon mirin Japanese sweet wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish


  • Gather ingredients.
    Spinach with Sesame Ingredients

Blanching the Spinach:

  • In a large saucepan, bring water to boil. Get a bowl of iced water and set it aside.  
  • Add spinach to boiling water for 15-20 seconds (do not overcook the spinach!). Using tongs or spider, scoop out all the spinach and drop them in the prepared bowl of iced water. Note: if using a smaller pot, blanch half of the spinach at a time. Wait until the water boils again and blanch the other half.  
    Spinach with Sesame Icebath
  • Squeeze water out of the spinach and cut them into one-inch length.  
    Spinach with Sesame Cutting

Making Sauce:

  • Grind 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds in a Japanese style mortar and pestle. Add sugar and grind for another couple of minutes until it almost resembles a paste.  
    Spinach with Sesame Grinding
  • Add mirin, light soy sauce, and mix well, scraping side with a rubber spatula. Note: never use metal on Suribachi as it will scratch the grids in the bowl.  
    Spinach with Sesame Sauce
  • Squeeze excess water one more time and using chopsticks, loosen the spinach. Add three-quarters of the sauce to the spinach and toss well. Taste and add more sauce if needed. Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve immediately.  
    Spinach with Sesame Tossing


Nutritional information is an estimate only. Please view our website policies for more information.


Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 848mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 10633IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 234mg | Iron: 5mg