Goma-ae is a traditional Japanese side dish made by tossing vegetables in a flavorful sesame dressing. This easy and healthy salad is perfect for anyone who loves vegetables!
If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you might have tried goma-ae as a delicious and refreshing side dish. With its nutty and fragrant sesame seed aroma, it's a popular salad among many Japanese people.
Although spinach gomaae is the most popular version, gomaae can be made with any vegetable of your choice. I will show you how to make it with four different vegetables - spinach, green beans, broccoli, and asparagus - to give you a variety of options to try out!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese food.
- You want to make goma-ae.
- You are looking for a easy goma-ae recipe.
Let me walk you through the ingredients and the instructions. If you want to check the recipe, jump to the recipe. Let's get started!
About this recipe
- A simple Japanese side dish
- Vegetable salad with sesame dressing
- Vegan recipe
- Cooking time under 10 minutes
What is Gom-ae?
Goma-ae, or Japanese sesame salad, is a traditional Japanese side dish that is often served as part of a bento box lunch or as a side dish in Japanese restaurants.
This simple dish is made with boiled vegetables coated in a savory sesame sauce, which is made from ground sesame seeds, soy sauce, and sugar. The result is a bright green and flavorful dish with a delicious combination of nutty flavors and a slightly sweet taste.
While spinach is the most commonly used vegetable in gomaae, this versatile dish can be made with a variety of vegetables, and in the following section, you will find four different goma-ae recipes to try.
Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).
- Vegetables - I use green beans, broccoli, asparagus, and spinach in this recipe. However, gomaae is a versatile dish that can be made with many other vegetables. You will find more vegetable options in the following section.
- Sesame sauce - Ground sesame seeds, sugar, and soy sauce. Some recipes add dashi, sake, or salt for sesame sauce, but soy sauce, ground sesame seeds, and sugar are the basic combinations for the sauce.
Ground Sesame Seeds
Ground sesame seeds, also known as surigoma in Japanese, are a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and are used in a variety of dishes, including gomaae. Freshly ground sesame seeds are incredibly flavorful and have a wonderful aroma, but for convenience, I use store-bought ground sesame seeds in this recipe.
If you can not find it, you can grind toasted sesame seeds on your own with a mortar and pestle. Click here to watch How to grind sesame seeds. Alternatively, you can substitute ground sesame seeds with tahini sauce.
Although white sesame seeds are commonly used for making gomaae, black sesame seeds can also be used to create a unique and flavorful twist.
Where to buy Japanese ingredients
If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.
- Japanese grocery stores: Mitsuwa marketplace, Marukai
- Asian grocery stores
- Whole foods market
- Health food stores
- Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon
The cooking process of goma-ae is so simple - Steam (or boil) vegetables, make sesame sauce, and toss them all together. Let me show you how to make it, or you can click here to watch the recipe video.
First of all, we are gonna prepare vegetables. I like steaming vegetables, so I will show you how to steam them, but you can cook in boiling water or microwave them.
How to steam vegetables: Place a steamer basket on a pot (or use a steamer if you have one), pour 1 cup of water, place the vegetable, cover, and steam on medium heat.
- Ingen (Green pea) - Steam for 2 minutes and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Spinach - Steam for 1-2 minutes, put in the cold water or ice water to prevent cooking further, squeeze excess water out, and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Asparagus - Cut in half to fit the pot, steam for 2 minutes, and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Broccoli - Separate stalk and florets, cut into bite-size pieces, steam stalk for 2mins first, add florets, and steam for another 2 minutes (I like eating stalk as well as it's sweet and crunchy).
Make sesame sauce and toss it with vegetables
The following steps are the same for any vegetable.
- Put sugar, soy sauce, and ground sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Mix well.
- Put the vegetable in a large bowl and add the sesame sauce.
- Toss them all together until well blended.
Here you go! Which one do you like? Or do you want to make them all? I hope you will enjoy all of them!
You can store the goma-ae in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. However, please note that the vegetables may release water and become soggy over time, so I recommend consuming the dish as soon as possible for the best texture and flavor.
Alternatively, you can store it in the freezer for up to one month. Make sure to thaw the dish at room temperature before eating.
Gomaae is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that pairs well with a variety of vegetables. In addition to spinach, you can try these vegetables:
- Bean sprout (Moyashi)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Enoki mushrooms
- Shimeji mushrooms
Thanks for Stopping By
Gomaae is easy to make, a simple side dish that takes under 10 minutes. Pick your favorite green veggie and enjoy! I hope this recipe is helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you’ve tried this recipe(or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Japanese Side dishes
- Eggplant teriyaki
- Pickled napa cabbage
- Cucumber salad (with shiokombu)
- Hijiki seaweed salad
- Daikon skin stir-fry
Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)Print Pin Rate
- 1 Large pot
- 1 Steamer basket
Vegetable of your choice
- 1 bunch Spinach, 200g
- 1 bag Green beans, 80g
- 6 Asparagus, 120g
- 1 Broccoli, 300g
Sesame sauce (Sesame dressing)
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Ground sesame seeds
- Steam vegetable: Steam (or boil) vegetable of your choice and cut it into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Make sesame sauce: Put sugar, soy sauce, and ground sesame seeds in a small bowl and mix well.
- Toss: Add the sauce to the vegetable and toss them all together.
- Storage: It will last three days in the fridge and one month in the freezer. Throw it at room temperature when you eat it.
- Please see the instructions for how to steam vegetables.
Excellent recipe. Great with steamed green beans.
Thank you for your review, Micheal! I'm glad you like the gomaae recipe!