Spinach gomae (Spinach and Sesame Sauce)

ほうれん草の胡麻和え

A quick to prepare fresh side dish that can compliment almost anything

Serves: about 4

Ingredients:
• ¾ to ½ pounds of raw spinach
• 2 to 3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds (white or black)
• 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon mirin
• ½ tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1. Toast sesame seed in a pan quickly without any oil. Remove when a few seeds start to pop

2. Grind ¾ of sesame seeds with a mortar (Suribachi) and leave the remainder whole for texture

3. Combine seasonings (soy, mirin and sugar) in a bowl and mix in thoroughly the ground sesame

4. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil then add the cleaned spinach

5. Cook spinach quickly (about 40 seconds, less for baby spinach, longer for older spinach) then place in cold water or drain and rinse under cold water

6. Squeeze out water and compress spinach to facilitate cutting

7. Cut spinach into 1½ to 2 inch sections

8. Mix in sesame dressing to coat spinach well

9. Chill and serve cold, garnish with remaining sesame seed

Variations include adding 1 teaspoon sake, a bit of tahini, or dash of sesame oil