Goma-ae Recipe 4 Ways (Japanese Sesame Salad)

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!

Japanese goma-ae served on a plate.

If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you might have tried goma-ae as a delicious and refreshing side dish. Its nutty and fragrant sesame seed aroma makes it 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?

Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)

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 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.

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

Ingredients for Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)
  • 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 sauceGround 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 in a container.

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 market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • 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.

Steam vegetables

How to make Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)

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 them 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 2 minutes 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

How to make Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)

The following steps are the same for any vegetable.

  1. Put sugar, soy sauce, and ground sesame seeds in a small bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Put the vegetables in a large bowl and add the sesame sauce.
  4. Toss them all together until well blended.
Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)

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:

  • Kale
  • Eggplant
  • Carrot
  • Bean sprout (Moyashi)
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Shimeji mushrooms

Thanks for Stopping By!

Japanese goma-ae served on a plate.

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!

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More Japanese Side dishes

Gomaae recipe

Gomaae Recipe (Japanese Goma Salad)

5 from 5 votes
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 8 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Juri Austin
Gomaae (or Goma-ae) is a Japanese side dish that is tossed vegetables in sesame sauce. It's an easy and healthy plant-based salad.


  • 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 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.8g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 2.4g | Sodium: 296mg | Sugar: 3g
Course: Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Goma-ae, Japanese salad with sesame seeds, vegan
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I used Tahini paste as no ground sesame seeds nor a mortar & pestle to hand. That may explain the nasty flavour. Luckily I tested the dressing first. Replaced it with Kewpie roasted sesame salad dressing mixed with a little soy and way better.