Recipes, produce information and forum for Zoe's Garden Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. Zoe's Garden offers CSA subscriptions in the Park City, Heber, Salt Lake, Ogden & Lindon areas. Our purpose is to provide the freshest naturally grown produce possible by delivering it to our local members within a day of picking.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Go-To greens with goma sauce

This recipe used up my whole bag of spinach, and it is super versatile for use with any greens (the mizuna, spinach, and chard this week are all good candidates) and things like green beans, spicy greens, and eggplants that we'll see later in the year.  It is incredibly quick, gets rid of the greens that will so quickly overwhelm our share in the next month, and has a simple elegance if served to guests.

"Gomaae" is Japanese sesame-based sauce that is equal parts sweet, salty, and nutty.  It is traditionally served tossed with lightly boiled spinach (hourensou no gomaae).  The recipe varies from kitchen to kitchen, but what follows is where I usually start.  I had to estimate the measurements -- I cook with the "glug" and "splash" measurement and taste frequently.  I like this dish a little stronger as well, because I usually serve it with plain rice.

3-4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast them in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring regularly, or by them pre-toasted in the Asian section)
1-2 Tbsp mirin, a sweet cooking wine/vinegar
     (alternate: 1 Tbsp sake with 1 tsp sugar, or 1 Tbsp rice vinegar with 1 tsp sugar)
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
roughly 1 pound of spinach

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Crush the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (or with a coffee grinder, gently with a mallet, or with a dowel in a bowl).  It doesn't need to be too thorough.  Mix in the mirin and the soysauce.  Boil the spinach for just a couple of minutes, then drain, squeezing as much liquid out as possible.  Roughly chop the spinach and toss with the gomaae sauce.  Serve.

Alternate flavors to try:  substitute peanuts for the sesame seeds, or substitute miso paste with a tiny amount of water for the soy sauce.


  1. Got a question....Why do you drain and squeeze the spinach? Doesn't it lose nutritional value with all that? :-)

  2. That is probably mitigated by a really short cooking time. It might lose a little nutritional value, but soggy doesn't support the sauce as well as strained. Besides, this recipe is so tasty that you can polish off huge amounts of spinach in a single sitting.