Place the sesame seeds in a Japanese mortar and grind them.
Add the sugar, soy sauce and dashi. Combine them well altogether and set aside.
Spinach (Hōrensō) and Japaneses mustard spinach (Komatsuna)
Wash the spinach.
Boil water in large pot.
Add the spinach bunch into the boiling water from the stemside first, while holding leaves with your hands. Cook the stem for 30 seconds, then let the leaves to cook for another 30 seconds. So altogether just parboil for 1 minute.
Take the spinach out and put them immediately in icy cold water to avoid the spinach being cooked furter.
Squeeze out the excess water and cut the spinach about 4cm/1.5inch long.
Season spinach with soy sauce and squeeze out excess liquid again before combining with goma ae dressing.
Adding spinach to the goma ae dressing in the mortar and toss together with the sesame sauce.
Serve immediately. *4
Green beans (Sayaingen)
Wash and trim the ends of the green beans and parboil the green beans for 2 minutes.
Drain the water and cool the cooled green beans under the running water to avoid it being over cooked.
Add the cooked green beans and toss together until the sesame sauce to coats the green beans well.
Serve in a small bowl immediately.
Wash the gobō burdock roots and scrub the skin with a back of a knife.
Smash the burdock roots with a wooden pestle. This step makes the sesame sauce flavour penetrate well.
Boil water with the vinegar to prevent oxidation and to remove any astringent taste. Add the prepared burdock and cook for about 5 minutes.
Drain the water, and toss together with sesame sauce.
Serve in a small serving dish.
*1 you can use white or black sesame seeds*2 Dashi recipe here*3 or 1/2 bunch of Spinach*4 You can prepare sesame dressing, and parboil spinach or Japanese mustard spinach ahead. Toss together just before serving because tossing them together ahead of serving draw some liquid out and make the salad soggy. *5 Nutrition values are based on Spinach Goma ae